Prepare, Limit, and Prevent: 5 Steps to Ransomware Protection

November 11 18:18 2021

Ransomware is a type of attack where a cybercriminal prevents companies and individuals from accessing their own information, demanding upfront cash to release the data to its rightful owner.

Businesses handle a lot of data and financial information, making them particularly vulnerable to ransomware. Companies that want to guard against these attacks can take several steps to maximize their defenses against ransomware and similar threats.

1. Educate Employees Ransomware protection starts with employees.

Security awareness training is an excellent option for businesses looking to keep employees informed. It’ll help them learn about ransomware (and other threats), how they can damage the company, and how to deal with potential threats.

This isn’t to say that investing in cybersecurity isn’t necessary — in fact, combining security-aware employees with strong security systems creates a powerful defense against cyberattacks.

2. Keep All Software Up to DateCyberthreats constantly evolve, so cybersecurity and other software companies respond by continuously updating their products with security patches and other upgrades.

Companies should make sure to update all software programs to their latest versions right away whenever there’s a new update. Turning on auto-updates where possible can streamline this process.

3. Multi-Factor Authentication and PasswordsMulti-factor authentication requires any user to provide multiple independent authentication methods to access a system.

For example, one factor is username and password. Multi-factor authentication might require an employee to scan their fingerprint, have a code messaged to their phone or sent to their email, or use an access card.

The more factors required to access a system, the less likely a threat can get through to something critical.

Additionally, the primary factor — passwords — should be strengthened. Per the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST), a strong password should meet the following guidelines:

● Be a minimum of eight characters (but no more than 64 characters)

● Be able (but not required) to use all special characters

● Avoid using sequential or repetitive characters (such as 1234 or aaaa)

● Restrict context-specific passwords, such as the business’s name

● Avoid commonly used passwords (such as [email protected] or an employee’s name)

● Restrict the use of old passwords to avoid using credentials that may have been exposed in a data breach

It’s also worth changing passwords regularly, such as bimonthly.

4. Perform Regular BackupsRegardless of a company’s cybersecurity efforts, threats sometimes get through and can cause major damage.

For this reason, companies should routinely back up their data — every day, if possible — somewhere safe and secure. In general, this means finding a secure, cloud-based data center at which to store these backups. Offline storage can also work, depending on the circumstances.

Then, should the worst happen, the company can at least get back up and running fast. They may be able to avoid having to pay a ransom to get their data back if backups are routine and secure enough.

5. Work with Cybersecurity ProfessionalsThe above and other tips can strengthen any company’s protections against ransomware and other cyberattacks.

However, no business is invincible. Even those with the toughest defenses can eventually fall victim to cyberthreats because today, many of these attacks can get quite sophisticated.

Many companies fall back on dedicated cybersecurity firms. These firms focus their efforts on testing defense, finding weaknesses, making recommendations, and fighting threats to keep their clients safe. Meanwhile, the client gains more time to invest in other areas of their business, knowing their IT infrastructure is as safe as possible.

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Company Name: IQuanti, Inc.
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Country: United States