Three Helpful Cyber Security Tips for Businesses to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attacks affect businesses no matter the size. You really don't want to know the average cost for recovering from a malicious ransomware attack... So what is a ransomware attack? A ransomware attack happens when malware (a virus) is deployed and then hold's the victim's information (on their own computer!) at ransom. This could be an individual user or an organization's valuable data; but made inaccessible by the owner! The hacker encrypts that data or holds it hostage and threatens the individual or organization with a ransom in order to either unlock the data or promise not to expose the hacked data.

HOW DID RANSOMWARE BECOME A MALWARE EPIDEMIC? Ransomware has experienced rapid growth because it's evolved from one-time attacks into a modern software-as-a-service business. Ransomware "organizations" have copied popular SaaS tech vendors and offer a highly polished product that relies on distributors to push the malware onto other people and machines in order for a cut of the ransom reward. Incredible as it sounds, real. An example of this is "phishing emails", which have embedded web links or attachments that infect your computer when you click on them. Ransomware is the fastest-growing malware hazard in the 21st century and in this article we are going to discuss three ways you can prevent a ransomware attack.

Did you know that it is estimated that nearly 3 out of 4 companies infected with ransomware suffer two days or more without access to their files.

1 - UPDATE OR REMOVE OLD SOFTWARE Why should you continually update your software? Hackers love security flaws and spend time finding software vulnerabilities in programs. Software updates often include security patches that helps to cover known flaws or breeches in the programs that you and your employees use every day. In many ways, the learn by others mistakes so you do not have to do it yourself applies. So, be sure you are not left with vulnerable software that has already been compromised. Another risk from outdated software is the fact that security updates are not released after a product becomes obsolete. If a program you are using is obsolete, you may want to consider finding an alternative and removing that software program. The key takeaway is to make sure you or a cybersecurity expert assess the software programs you are using to make sure there are no known security vulnerabilities. Update or remove that outdated software.

2 - HAVE A SYSTEM IN PLACE TO CONTINUOUSLY BACKUP DATA Sometimes despite your best efforts at prevention, a breach is going to happen. Having a strong backup strategy, and a good restoration process in place ensures more protection against ransoms. Backups should always include offsite, that do not have direct connections to the network that might become infected. This allows restoration at a disaster recovery site, or replacement on the infected site, when the malware has been removed. As well as protecting against ransomware attacks, backups help protect your company against: - human errors, - hardware failures, - and power failures.

3 - PASSWORD HEALTH Humans are the most vulnerable point in your security system. Humans are lazy with passwords. A good way to check your password health is to use a service like NordPass to check the health of your passwords. NordPass will scan all your passwords saved in your vault and check how vulnerable they are. If you don't use a password vault like LastPass then you will have to manually ask yourself these questions. 💣 How complex are my passwords? 💣 Have I reused any passwords multiple times? 💣 Are any passwords over 90 days old? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need to look at changing some passwords. Another good thing to do is use multifactor authentication. The last blog post we wrote highlighted the importance of 2FA and MFA and would be good for you to review. >> What is 2FA? A helpful Guide. BONUS TIP - TRAIN YOUR EMPLOYEES TO RECOGNIZE UNSAFE EMAILS!! Did you know that 92% of malware attacks are delivered via email? A large % of those malware attacks are ransomware attacks first carried out through an email. Check out this list of trending CyberSecurity Statistics from 2021 for more details on that: 2021 Cyber Security Statistics Links and attachments are the two main ways a ransomware attack is carried out via email. It is a good idea for companies to train their employees to be aware of issues such as these and to fully audit their email and communications systems to see just how secure their company practices are. AUDIT YOUR EMAIL AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS WITH MAILSPEC Perhaps your email and communications systems need an audit to determine just how secure they are? MailSPEC offers System Audits where we review and provide recommendations for your email and voice communication systems. We provide honest reports, no matter the vendor or topologies used. Get in touch with us today at for more information.

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