Are you aware of the fact that ransomware attacks target a business every 11 seconds? According to statistics, ransomware attacks will cost companies $20 billion by 2021, which is a huge increase when you compare it with $11.5 billion in 2019. Not only that, but the number of ransomware attacks also increased by 41% in 2019. average ransom demand has risen by 104% and the cost of downtime has gone up by 200% year over year basis.
Despite such alarming numbers, very few businesses take necessary steps to protect themselves from a ransomware attack, which makes them more vulnerable to such attacks. If your business is not amongst them, then this article is for you.
In this article, you will learn about seven alarming reasons why your business might be at risk of a ransomware attack.
Taking regular backup of all your data can be difficult, but you can automate the process or take the backup of your critical data. Most companies tend to ignore data backup and end up paying a hefty price for it. Data backups can be your savior if your business comes under a ransomware attack or your website is down due to hardware or any other issue. You can easily use it to restore it from the backup and minimize downtime. Make sure you keep the backup separate from your data so it does not get affected even if your data is compromised, stolen or made inaccessible.
How can you protect critical business assets when you don’t know what your critical business assets are and where they are located? It can be data stored on your best dedicated server, database or the cloud. Once you have identified your assets, you should prioritize them based on their value and secure them accordingly. The more valuable an asset might be, the more protection it needs.
Similarly, if you are heavily dependent on your vendors, make sure they recognize existing and future threats and vulnerabilities and take steps to prevent cyberattacks. We have already seen an exponential rise in the number of vendor-related vulnerabilities, so it is important that you be careful.
Whether it is physical or online security, cyber attackers might fail at the first attempt. If they have time on their side, they will target your business infrastructure from different angles multiple times so they can bypass your security measures and get access to your data. Establish an efficient security monitoring and reporting mechanism so it can notify you of these attempts. This will help you spot a ransomware attack.
Frequently test the effectiveness of these security monitoring and reporting mechanisms by launching mock attacks. This will help you identify loopholes in your cybersecurity arrangements and allows you to quickly fix them and improve them to prevent unauthorized data access.
Attack surface is another factor you need to keep in mind when developing a cybersecurity strategy. Keep an eye on open ports, outdated legacy systems, older versions of operating systems and unused or rarely used services because these are the avenues hackers can use to get access to your systems.
If there is a system that does not comply with your cybersecurity policies, you should disconnect it from the organization’s network as it can be a threat for your business. As your security requirements change, you can modify these security policies and security controls to suit your business needs.
Humans are the weakest link in your cybersecurity chain and cybercriminals know that. That is why they launch attacks that target humans, such as social engineering attacks. Even ransomware attacks require human interaction to enter your network and wreak havoc on connected devices.
That is why it is important to increase cybersecurity awareness amongst your employees and train them to identify, report and deal with such attacks. This can turn your biggest vulnerability into an asset. The more aware your employees are, the less likely they are to fall victim to such attacks.
Does your company pay attention to user access controls? If the answer is no, then you might be at a higher risk of a ransomware attack. Why? Cyber attackers use stolen account credentials, compromise weak passwords or take over orphaned accounts to target your business. If you don’t have an access management mechanism or have weak password policies, hackers can easily break into your network. Implement strict user access controls in conjunction with identity access management systems. This can assist you in limiting access privileges and create and manage user groups more efficiently.
According to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute and IBM resilient, 77% of businesses don’t have a cybersecurity incident response plan. What’s even worse is the fact that companies who already have an incident response plan don’t apply it consistently. Create a dedicated incident response team. Assign them the task of drilling down threats that can negatively impact your organization.
This can help you save a lot of money, as your incident response team minimize damages. The quicker you can contain and recover from cyberattacks, the lower will be the cost. The lower the cost, the better it will be for your business. The ability of companies to thwart the threats, manage crisis and recover from cyberattacks can make or break companies.
How do you protect your business from a ransomware attack? Let us know in the comments section below.