What is ransomware?
You’ve probably heard the term, but if you’re lucky, you’ve probably never had to look it straight in the eye.
Ransomware is malicious software (commonly called malware) used in cyberattacks where your data gets encrypted and consequently inaccessible to you until you pay a ‘ransom’ to get it back. Only the attacker knows the encryption key, holding your data “hostage” until the attacker is paid (usually in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin). However, according to a survey conducted by CyberEdge Group, only about 20% of victims actually get their data back after making a ransom payment!
Ransom amounts range from low to high – some as little as $300 to those that are over $20,000. According to the Online Trust Alliance (OTA), in 2016 cyberattacks totaled 82,000 in 2016 and jumped to nearly 160,000 in 2017 (experts say many attacks are never reported, so this number could actually be more than 350,000). The number of attacks so far this year are tracking a decline, however, the attacks themselves are getting much more sophisticated.
What’s our defense?
The best way to protect your business from ransomware is to understand what it looks like and partner with a solution provider than can equip you with the tools you need to prevent it from ever happening in the first place.
Here are some tips worth taking:
- Conduct regular awareness training for users; reinforce company policies and explain the importance of following these policies.
- Walk employees through incident reporting procedures and make sure they understand they are the victim in these situations and covering up an incident can be more harmful to the organization.
- Maintain regular back-ups of important files
- Perform risk assessments at regular intervals; the technology is evolving so quickly, you never want to ‘set it and forget it’.
- Enforce strong password requirements and two-factor authentication.
If you have not had a risk assessment recently (or ever!) then now is the time to meet with a provider who is knowledgeable and can assist with the security of your data. Solutions like Cisco Ransomware Defense and Cisco Umbrella are designed to get ahead of the threat but limiting the exposure of your data before any perpetrators can access it. This technology is the most advanced on the market, and this new “best-of-breed’ security architecture offers a simple, open and automated approach rather than just focusing on one area. This reduces the amount of complexity involved, and provides greater visibility. It’s also cloud-based, which protects endpoints both on and off the network.
Take charge of your network and security and detect problems long before they strike:
- Obtain recommendations for best-of-breed options
- Be sure to secure your entire network environment
- Choose cloud-based, real-time solutions
- Automate security actions so you can respond more quickly
Cisco Ransomware Defense leverages Cisco’s security architecture to provide end-to-end protection for businesses. Not only does this protection include your network, but your DNS layer, email and endpoints. It’s simple to use, completely automated and rated as one of the most effective ransomware defense tools available. For more information, please contact us.