As technology has evolved, so have the speed and agility of subsequent cyberattacks — affecting millions of businesses at a rate of 1 cyberattack every 39 seconds, according to Security Magazine. The problem? While businesses may have invested in cybersecurity, the approach isn’t holistic enough to cover the range of attacks that can happen on a daily basis. A simple antivirus isn’t enough anymore. Rather, attackers are turning to savvier options, such as cyberattacks, black-hat AI and DDoS options to directly harm businesspeople and those with high-quality assets.
Today, we’re discussing ransomware, the risks and different measures that brands can take to protect their identity and security.
What is a ransomware attack?
Ransomware attacks are generally designed to disable the organization’s systems, inhibiting productivity and causing overall chaos on a professional network. We’re seeing surges in these types of attacks with 76% of businesses being infected by a ransomware attack in 2022 alone. This comes as no surprise, as many organizations are operating their businesses through cloud networks and using hybrid systems to store their most valuable data.
Understanding the enemy is the first step to beating the odds and protecting your business. Now that we’ve covered what this type of attack can do, we need to explore the risks to begin to create a holistic and sustainable solution.
What risks can ransomware exposure bring to your organization?
There are plenty of risks that a ransomware attack can bring to your organization. We’ve summarized them below into three main categories:
- Lost productivity: While this can seem basic, it can have lasting quantitative effects — potentially harming your retention rates and your brand identity long-term.
- Legal and IT fees: Any time you’re exposed or attacked by ransomware, you’ll likely have to invest heavily in an acute fix. Preventative measures are generally best. However, if you don’t have the luxury of preparing before an attack, you may expect to pay higher costs in legal and IT fees when fixing the issue.
- Loss of accounts: If you manage to remove ransomware from your system, you may or may not lose full access to your accounts. This can result in additional lost productivity, cost and risk if there is a ransom and additional strain on your network and production systems.
How to prevent ransomware attacks
If you’re looking to prevent ransomware attacks in your organization, a holistic cybersecurity strategy is best. Additionally, you may consider investing in ongoing education for your team and professional review to make sure that your strategy is as airtight as possible. Additional steps you can take include:
- Updating your antivirus and firewall settings: Your software should be permitted to do regular checks to scan for any potential risks on the horizon. Your firewall should also be operable and at the ready, serving as a last line of defense to protect your sensitive data and system(s). We do know that consistency in this area of your strategy can be difficult in a hybrid-WFH organization, which is why frequent review and ongoing training are recommended complementary steps.
- Avoiding shifty-looking emails: Ransomware attacks can begin with a single “bad” email attachment. Training your team to recognize and avoid these emails, as well as implementing email security software can lower your risk for this specific avenue of entry.
- Keeping an inventory of possible entry points: As your company expands, so will your systems. Keeping a list of searchable assets and entry points can be a fantastic way to keep your strategy secure.
Find cyber support at your fingertips
Looking for professional cyber support? Connect with the team at CHIPS today for a personalized cybersecurity strategy and ongoing expertise to keep your system as safe as possible.