Holding Your Security Ransom: Preparing Your Organization for Ransomware Attacks
Today’s ransom trend
Today, ransomware virus cases are becoming more frequent than ever as they are raking in, on average, $450 billion dollars into the cybercriminal market annually. These unpleasant viruses leave users desperate, pressuring them into thinking that they have no choice but to pay ridiculous amounts of bitcoins to free their computers of screen lock downs, threat of public exposure of confidential or false information, or sometimes even complete deletion of all of the data on the victim’s computer.
Unfortunately, everyone is susceptible to cybercrime; however, certain organizations are being targeted more frequently than others. Recent trends have found that ransoms are targeting organizations such as medical centers, police stations, and schools because they are easier to threaten due to the large amounts of confidential information that they interact with. These organizations feel obligated to pay the ransom because the consequence of private information being stolen could result in lawsuits and a loss of clientele.
Tips on how to prevent ransomware:
Install security software onto all devices
Ensure that your system is utilizing the most update security software. Outdated software is one of the biggest enablers of cyberattacks, as updates are made to help strengthen system security as bugs and code failures are found.
Be careful about opening unsolicited attachments embedded through email
Oftentimes, ransoms will disguise themselves as the FBI or as government officials and will then accuse users of false information such as possession of illegal content use. They will then request a fee for the false illegal actions. By avoiding opening these types of emails, you can protect yourself and your organization from falling victim to ransomware.
A-LIGN’s webinar on breaches shows a real world examples of how fake websites have been used to obtain confidential information.
Back up files regularly
Make sure to encrypt data so that the data can be recovered. Avoid getting into the habit of “putting this off for tomorrow” because cyberattacks can happen today, or any other day where you’re unprepared.
Read this short article from PC World about backing up files.
Educate all employees
Regularly update management and employees on updated cyber security policies. This allows people to understand what links to avoid or even when to detect “phishy” traps.
Test your security
Test your security with a mock disaster and see how strong the walls of your security system stand. This is a great way to see what hackers are capable of obtaining off of your computer.
A great way to test is your system is with a penetration test performed by a third party, such as A-LIGN.
Audit your organization regularly
This will help ensure that you are keeping up to date with the best-suited security compliance for your organization with continuous improvement.