As the technology is advancing every day, so are the malwares evolving. A survey says that an average of 12 million new malware have been introduced to the internet each month for the last 12 months. This is a whopping number. Ransomware is one such malicious attack that cybercriminals do to make money illegitimately. Ransomware are designed to attack a victim’s system and encrypt their files. The attackers then demand money as ransom to provide the decrypting keys to the victim to give access of his files again to him. Some of these malware can even work as wiper and delete the encrypted information from the disk of the user. One such malware is Petya. These ransomware are so powerful that it is impossible for the organization to get access to these encrypted files without using the decryption keys. Hence, in order to save their business and time, the businesses have to pay the ransom to get hold of their files and sensitive data again.
In the past few years, ransomware business has seen an exponential rise. In 2017, ransomware resulted in a total loss of $5 billion, both in terms of ransoms paid and time lost by the businesses. This is 15 times of that spent in 2015. A report on IT Transformation Crisis suggests that as many as 68% of the organizations feel exposed and at risk of a ransomware attack.
Certain industries are more prone to a ransomware attack than the others are. The top most risk is for the Finance industry where every piece of information means money. In 2017, attackers targeted approximately 90% of financial businesses. The next biggest target for the ransomware attackers is the health industry where information is usually critical for saving lives. Hence, this industry is generally ready to pay ransom to gain access to its data quite easily. A report says that roughly 85% of malware infections at healthcare organizations every year are ransomware. In any case, information security is the biggest concern for the businesses in the digital age and almost every industry is vulnerable to ransomware.
Ransomware not only encrypts and blocks access to certain files of the victim’s computer, but it can also block normal access to the computer system of the target altogether. Additionally, it can even delete some or all data from the disk of the system. Hence, protection from ransomware is very critical for every business. Below are certain ways in which you can protect your system from ransomware attacks.
Backing-up your data – While it might sound like a technically low-graded solution, it is in-fact the best possible way to protect yourself from the ever-evolving ransomware attacks. If you keep a regular back up of your data, a ransom attack is less likely to affect your organization. The attacker would not be able to force you to pay the ransom and by not paying, you are actually discouraging such attackers in your own small way.
Think before you click – By keeping your anti-phishing tools in place and being alert of the malicious sites, emails and attachments, you can save yourself from the ransomware attackers. An organization must train its employees about the possibility of malicious links in suspicious emails and instant messages and about the risks and consequences of simple clicks. The employees should never execute any suspected “.exe” file.
Up-to-date systems – It is important to keep all the computers of an organization up-to-date. The browsers as well as the operating systems release their updated versions from time to time. These versions are to cover up the security loopholes in the present versions.
Install antivirus and White-listing software – Antivirus software detects malicious programs like ransomware Trojans, viruses, phishing attacks, etc. as they arrive into the system. White-listing software prevents unauthorized and suspicious applications from executing in the system. Although, such software do not guarantee 100% protection from ransomware attacks, still they can at least warn the user of any suspicion.
Install anti-malware software and firewall software – It is important to have several layers of Protection Against Ransomware. This is because the hackers are continually sending new variants of malwares to avoid being detected. Thus, a system that is well protected and secured by anti-malware and firewall software is quite less likely to get attacked by attackers.
Disable RDP – Many attackers gain access to their target systems through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). Hence, if not significant for the nature of your business, it is best to disable RDP in your system to protect it from being exploited.
Disconnect from the internet – If ever you run a file that you suspect may be a malware, disconnect from the internet immediately. It takes a few minutes for the ransomware to encrypt your files completely. If you disconnect from the internet instantly after mistakenly running any such malware file, you stop the ransomware then and there.
Why do you need Ransomware Protection for your Business?
Until today, the IT technology has not been able to find a way out to decrypt the data that is encrypted by the attacker through ransomware. However, there are ways to remove the ransomware from the system and stop it from encrypting any further files. Nevertheless, there is no way to regain the access to the already encrypted files.
When attacked by a ransomware, a business loses control on its data. There is no other option but to pay the ransom to get right to use its own data again. This means loss of money and time. Additionally, a business would never want to share that encrypted sensitive data with anyone outside the organization. Thus, it becomes critically important for businesses to find ways to mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks.
Preemo brings to you a solution package to meet your requirements of keeping ransomware away from the network of your organization. We provide our clients with effective end-to-end solutions that minimize their exposure to precarious malwares including ransomware.