A ransomware attack is a malware attack designed to deny users or organizations access to data. The hackers or cyber attackers will then ransom an organization to pay a particular amount. So they can regain access to their systems.
In most cases, paying the ransom is often the easiest and cheapest way to access those files. However, the best way to prevent paying the ransom is to ensure the ransomware attack does not occur in the first place.
The following are essential steps any individual or organization can take to reduce the risk of a ransomware attack:
Have an In-Depth Defensive Security Program
Unfortunately, most organizations only react to ransomware attacks after they happen. Which is the worst time to deal with them. They only have antivirus and other rudimentary defensive programs that cannot possibly stop sophisticated ransomware attacks.
You should have an in-depth defensive security program to prevent and reduce the risk of ransomware attacks. It’d be wise if you mainly focused on a layered approach. Which may include firewalls, web filtering, network traffic analysis, email security filters, and intrusion detection systems.
Multi-factor authentication processes should also be part of such a program. Therefore, organizations should consider defensive security practices instead of only offensive ones.
Most business owners and managers consider ransomware attacks to be a purely technical issue. The fact is that people, specifically company staff, are the most vulnerable security access points in an organization.
Therefore, to reduce the risk of ransomware attacks. An essential step a company can take is to educate employees about ransomware attacks, precisely the dangers of social engineering. If you like to protect yourself from ransomware attacks. Then, you should learn as much about the issue as should your employees, as knowledge is often the best defense.
Ensure employees are knowledgeable and prepared, which reduces the risk that they will become victims of phishing scams or elaborate cons.
Regularly Perform Patches and Updates
The price for ensuring data safety as an individual or organization is continuous vigilance. Hackers and other cybersecurity criminals are always looking for the best ways to attack computer systems. And you should do your best to find ways to defend them.
Regularly looking for and fixing vulnerabilities in your system will go a long way in reducing the risk of ransomware attacks. Performing updates and installing patches on your computer software is the best way to remain vigilant. Update even the least vital programs as they can be vulnerable and easily used to access your systems.
Backup Your Data
A ransomware attack aims to hold your data hostage and debilitate your operations resulting from the lack of access to the data. One way to counteract that is to have backup data. Which gives you significant leverage over the hackers performing the attack.
Backup data storage is a fallback plan that substantially reduces the risk of ransomware attacks. It’d be convenient if you had policies that backup your data as often as possible, depending on the size. It is good practice to store the data somewhere inaccessible from your network. Putting it on an external device will further mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack.
Avoid Suspiciosus Material
Most ransomware attacks happen due to phishing emails. They can also occur as a result of clicking suspicious links elsewhere. You and any member of an organization should never click on a link they do not trust. You should have a filter that discards such links, sending them to the spam folder or deletion. You should never use unknown USB disks, programs, or software until you verify their source.
Ransomware can devastate and lead to significant data loss if you do not pay the hackers. The best way is to avoid and prevent ransomware attacks from occurring. Which you can do using the points above. If you take the steps above, you will be in a great position to avoid most ransomware attacks but feel free to look for more.