Hacks and attacks on information systems are becoming increasingly common, with the Infoblox DNS Threat Index recently reporting a 35-fold increase in new ransomware domains. It’s clearer than ever that security breaches are a question of when not if. Make sure your company can minimize downtime and data loss caused by ransomware: make a business continuity plan.
How Ransomware Works
Ransomware is a simple and effective tool for bad actors to exploit business systems for profit. Using email attachments and fake or compromised websites, ransomware downloads to your computer (or network) and “infects” it. The program encrypts the data it finds, making it impossible for you to access without a key. Companies that are caught unprepared will have to pay up if they hope to see their data again.
The Cost of Ransomware
Victims of ransomware are found in every industry, and companies have shelled out hundreds to thousands of dollars to regain access to their encrypted data. Consider the medical center that paid $17,000 in ransom when their computers were taken hostage, or the police departments in Massachusetts, Illinois, and Tennessee that had to pay up as well.
Make sure administrative privileges on your systems are limited, and keep all software (applications and operating systems) updated with the latest patches. Centralized security also makes prevention simpler.
Proactive System Management
Cloud-based systems are safer than distributed systems. If a local machine is infected, all you need to do is wipe that machine clean and restart with a fresh install. Traffic scanning and site reputation monitoring can also help protect your systems.
Backup & Recovery Strategy
The best protection from ransomware is the ability to restore your data. Regular backups are essential, and you’ll need to roll back your systems to a point before the infection began. If you’re well-prepared, you may be ready to bounce back with simply a wipe and re-imaging of your computers.
Planning & Testing
Train your team to recognize (and avoid!) clickbait email subject lines and to avoid downloading attachments they aren’t certain of. Plan out potential scenarios and responses. To have a strong continuity plan, you must continually educate your staff on the latest threats.
A security breach like ransomware is a matter of when, not if. Be prepared to get your company back on its feet right away without paying a king’s ransom—call Monster Technology to implement a business continuity plan to protect your company.