Ransomware has continuously made headlines throughout the last few decades and can pose a significant threat to organizations, large or small. It’s a significant problem that businesses should have a basic knowledge of what it is and how to protect their data. Security measures can help stop these threats before they become an issue. You need to understand what ransomware is, the type of data it attacks, and how to protect your business against it.
What is a Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware is malware that can be extremely dangerous if it infiltrates your servers. It encrypts files on a selected computer or network and denies access to that user. The attacker then demands payment from the organization in exchange for the decryption key. Often, the sum of money is the easiest and cheapest way for businesses to quickly regain access to their data. Some ransomware variants threaten to release stolen data to help incentivize the company to move forward with payment. These tactics used by attackers can have devastating effects due to data privacy and compliance laws that require companies to protect data from being released to the public.
What Kind of Data Does Ransomware Atack?
Ransomware can gain access to your network through spam emails, programs, or suspicious links through advertising. Once you or your employees download or open the programs, the ransomware attacks your system. Healthcare organizations and medical facilities are some of the most vulnerable organizations to be attacked by ransomware.
The data typically held hostage by ransomware depends on the type of institution the ransomware is attacking. For most health institutions, ransomware takes protected employee or patient data, including medical records, insurance data, and personal employee identifiable information.
Many financial institutions, another industry often targeted, attacked by ransomware can have sensitive personal details, including birthdates, social security numbers, account credentials, financial information, and more.
The information taken by cyber attackers is valuable information that attackers can sell online through the black market. Attackers can easily use the data to commit fraud or identity theft and cause devastating losses to the individual. All data should be protected whether deemed valuable or not.
How to Protect Your Business from Ransomware
The best way to protect your business from ransomware is to prevent these types of cyberattacks from happening. Regularly update your systems and software and introduce a comprehensive cybersecurity program with real-time protection. Security programs are designed to stop ransomware and malware attacks before they become a problem.
Another way to protect the data stored on your system is to create secure backups using high-level encryption and multiple locations in addition to the cloud. Creating backups helps to ensure data is available when you need it in the event of an attack.
Finally, be sure to educate your employees on the dangers of ransomware and ensure they feel comfortable with detecting these scams. Ensure they know who to contact if they suspect suspicious websites or emails and know what to do to keep data safe.
WheelHouse IT wants to help you protect your business from cyber threats. To learn more, reach out to us at 954.474.2204.