What Is Ransomware and Why Do You Need to Be Concerned
Check out details about ransomware and how it affects businesses. Learn how to protect your business from ransomware attacks. Get tips on cybersecurity essentials.
A growing threat, ransomware affected over 3.5 times more businesses in 2019 than the previous year, and the average ransom nearly doubled. Do you understand this threat? Are you proactively taking steps to protect your business? Here is what you need to know.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software that blocks access to a computer system or network until you pay a ransom. Cybercriminals encrypt your files, folders, or databases until you pay a ransom. Then, they issue you a key so that you can regain access.
How Do You Pay the Ransom?
Paying the ransom can be complicated. You can’t just send a check or wire funds to the cybercriminals. To safeguard their identity, they require their victims to pay in Bitcoin or some other type of cryptocurrency, and that alone can be time-consuming and confusing.
What Happens If You Pay the Ransom?
Paying the ransom can cost your business hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, but unfortunately, paying a ransom to any type of criminal never guarantees that you will get the desired result. Cybercriminals may demand more money, or they may disappear entirely without ever giving you access to your files.
Even if they send you the code to regain access, they have seen all your data. They can sell the data, steal your client’s identities, or use the data for other nefarious purposes.
Can You Protect Your Business From Ransomware?
Ideally, you never want to encounter a ransomware attack, and luckily, there are steps you can take to protect your business. Here are some essential strategies to defend yourself from malware attacks:
- Make sure you have a business continuity and recovery plan in place. Take some time to think about what happens if you lose access to your data, and make a plan to address that issue. More importantly, back up all your data, both on-site and in the cloud every day.
- Invest in the best cybersecurity tools, including anti-virus software, anti-malware software, DNS filtering, firewalls, and more. Keep these tools updated and make sure they are appropriately configured.
- Don’t open any attachments or downloads without authenticating the identity of the sender. If you aren’t expecting a message, do not download anything.
- Talk with your employees about cybersecurity essentials. Go over best practices for both defending your business against ransomware in particular and other cyber threats in general, and make sure your team understands the importance of implementing these protocols.
- Choose your Atlanta IT services company carefully. Many companies claim to understand cybersecurity, but they don’t have the tools or experience to provide you with the protection you need. When selecting a company, talk with them about their cybersecurity experience and ask questions about how they can defend your business.
Whether you own a big or small business, ransomware is a real threat, and you need to ensure you have a plan to protect your data, your IT system, and your business in general. At 360 Smart Networks, we can provide you with top-notch cybersecurity and managed IT services. We work with companies in Atlanta, Charlotte, and throughout the rest of the Southeast United States, and we’d love to work with you. To learn more, contact us today.