How To Protect Your Business From The Ransomware Threat

how to protect business from ransomware threats

Hackers use ransomware to encrypt user data and demand money to give it back. Annual ransomware damage is predicted to exceed $20 billion by 2021. Both individual users and big companies can find themselves under a ransomware attack. Ransomware often targets email services like Gmail and Outlook. 

Having a company’s data damaged with ransomware is extremely undesirable. Apart from money demanded as a ransom, there are many potential financial losses that scale with the size of the company. Fines for data security compliance violation, downtime costs, lost profits, to name a few.

So let’s take a look at some of the best anti-ransomware measures that will help you to protect your company from ransomware and harm it can cause. 

Adjust Your Incident Response Plan 

Any cyber-attack will inevitably cause chaos and disarray in your workflow. That’s why having an incident response plan is a great way to react to an attack as fast as it is possible and mitigate the risks you’ll face. 

To address the ransomware threat, you need to have a plan of actions to take in case of an attack. Accordingly, you need to adjust your incident response plan to have a clear understanding of your actions in case of a ransomware attack. 

The essential part of any ransomware response plan is a course of action to take in case an attack had encrypted your files. These actions should cover all ransomware-related issues: damage mitigation, following data compliance procedures, reporting, ransomware removal, and others. 

The thing you definitely need to pay attention to is ransomware removal. After all, it’s the final line of your data’s defense. Here you can read about how to remove ransomware in case you’ve caught a ransomware infection. 

Backup Your Files 

Having data encrypted will disrupt any company’s operations. However, with a backup, you can get lost or damaged files back. Backup is a safe copy of your data, which is stored separately and can be used for data recovery. Backup allows you to restore your data if it was damaged during a ransomware attack. 

Backing up your Gmail or other cloud mail services is essential for companies of all sizes. Emails contain business-critical information that is needed in every working process, from communication with customers to onboarding new employees. Having a regular backup for Google contacts and Google Drive is also important to keep your workflow safe. 

From a business perspective, having a backup is additional costs. Yet, they are more than justified compared to the potential risk of suffering a data loss or leakage. 

Use Anti-Ransomware Tools 

Restoring files from a backup is a good way to protect them. However, recovery from a backup takes some time. Additional anti-ransomware tools will be useful to detect and stop ransomware before too many files are infected, which will make the recovery process faster. 

Let’s take a look at one anti-ransomware solution. Spinbackup's ransomware protection uses a unique method of detecting ransomware by abnormal file behavior. If a ransomware attack happens, this tool will help you to stop ransomware as fast as possible and restore all damaged files. 

Watch Out For Phishing 

There are several phishing tactics used to spread ransomware. In general, a phishing attack is disguised as an email from your IT department, business partner, or another person you trust. By opening such email and clicking a link inside you’ll let ransomware into your system. Moreover, ransomware can be hidden in an image or a file within a phishing email. 

That’s why before taking any actions with a received email, make sure that it’s not a phishing attack. First of all, take a look at the sender’s address. It should reflect the organization’s domain correctly. For example, a correct email address of the sender’s organization ends with .com. If an email you received has the organization’s name but ends with .net, it may be a suspicious sign. It may be a scammer pretending to be a member of the real organization. 

Another way to detect a potential phishing attack is by checking a link inside an email. Hover your mouse pointer over a link to see where it leads. If it leads to a suspicious website, or the true destination is hidden with URL shorteners, it may be a potential phishing attack. If the destination is a website with the name of a trusted organization, but with misspellings, it’s a red flag. 

Implement Application Whitelisting 

An app installed from an app marketplace may not be as secure as you might have thought. Some apps are designed by hackers to steal access to your data. By granting such apps with permission to access your data, you’ll let ransomware into your system. 

Application whitelisting is a set of techniques aimed at limiting the access to your system only to safe apps. If whitelisting is implemented, only permitted programs can interact with your data. This will help to minimize the probability of getting ransomware via insecure apps. 

Educate Your Colleagues 

Many ransomware attacks happened due to human error that initiated them. That’s why it is extremely important to educate your colleagues about the ransomware threat and ways to deal with it. There are two major issues you can address—phishing protection and app security. 

As phishing exploits lack of caution and common carelessness, it’s vital to educate yourself and your colleagues about anti-phishing measures. Being aware of phishing will help your co-workers to detect a phishing attack and avoid clicking a malicious link. As a result, the probability of a data loss due to a phishing attack will be decreased significantly. 

Also, it would be a great idea to explain that insecure apps are another way to spread ransomware. It’s important for users to understand that not all apps are secure and it’s better not to install an app unless they are 100% sure that this app is safe. 

Of course, raising cybersecurity awareness should not be the only element of your ransomware protection strategy. Yet, it is still important. After all, an aware user will less likely become a victim of a ransomware attack.

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