Any business that’s required to maintain sensitive personal information is a high target for ransomware attacks. Ransomware attackers look for network vulnerabilities in order to gain access to important files that, if exposed, could dismantle your business. Things like medical records, insurance documents, bank records, or government-regulated student records are attractive business-critical data for ransomware threats.
It can be frightening to even consider the possibility of having to pay the ransom demanded to keep your data from being exposed or encrypted beyond recovery. Any company in the healthcare, financial, or educational sectors needs a rock-solid plan to safeguard their organization from a ransomware attack. Here are five ways to establish your cybersecurity standards.
Audit Your Cybersecurity Risks
Any ransomware protection plan starts with establishing your cybersecurity vulnerabilities. This starts by identifying the full scope of your systems, stored data and assets, people, and access.
- Which systems or processes may have weak spots that would compromise all your data?
- What data are you storing that would be identified as sensitive information?
- What assets are stored that are essential services to your business operations?
- How many people on your team handle this data?
- What levels of capabilities to key team members have that would make them a target?
Deploy Measures To Mitigate A Ransomware Attack
Once you have a clear picture of potential fail points in your technology systems, you can decide which measures will be necessary to protect your company network.
- Anti-virus, anti-malware and anti-spam solutions provide a first line of defense. Make sure your chosen solution uses multiple layers that deploy technologies like firewalls, behavior-based threat prevention, and heuristics.
- DNS authentication services identify potential sender spoofing through SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records. Spoofing is a common tactic in ransomware attacks.
- Email filters block access to your inbox from email with malicious links and phishing attacks. Email encryption protects your outbox from sending out unsecured emails with sensitive information.
- Phishing testing and training educates your employees about email security and what to watch out for in suspicious emails. This type of security awareness training prevents a simple mistake from turning into a disaster.
- Remote two-factor authentication keeps your operating system protected from unauthorized access.
Maintain Current Updates And Patches
Many ransomware attacks exploit security flaws in outdated software. Maintaining a schedule to check and update any software updates and patches. This is easy to overlook but quickly becomes a prime target for ransomware attackers since these software and operating system vulnerabilities for previous versions are broadly known.
Over time, your technology stack can grow to the point where it becomes overwhelming to keep up with. This is where managed endpoint services could prove valuable. IT managers would benefit from the time saved monitoring all software versions and checking for updates. The service helps monitor and schedule updates to the network and streamlines technology management.
Monitor Your Organization Activity
The larger your team, the harder it can be to ensure your team understands the importance of protection from ransomware. Despite having all of the previous points in place, the human element can still be the downfall of your network. Simply clicking on a malicious link can be the gateway to files and business critical data.
One way to keep a watchful eye on network activity is to engage 24x7x365 monitoring from a managed cybersecurity service provider. This level of monitoring helps manage risks with services like anomaly detection, intrusion prevention, ransomware detection, vulnerability management and a host of other key areas that keep your network and operating systems secure.
Develop A Disaster Recovery Plan
An effective disaster recovery plan can help keep your business online for a variety of emergencies from ransomware attacks to severe weather. When something goes wrong, you will have protocols in place, such as:
- Shut down the netwowk to prevent any further unauthorized access.
- Notify law enforcement of the situation, including local authorities and the FBI
- Restore operating systems and up to date backup files from the backup system if you decide not to pay the ransom and delete the infected files.
Disaster continuity minimizes downtime and makes it easy to regain access to important files. The best plan is specific to your business needs.
Top-notch Security Can’t Wait
There is no such thing as being overprepared when it comes to preventing ransomware attacks. Connect with our team of specialists today to learn more about how we can develop a custom solution to protect your organization from a ransomware attack.