The Best Defense Against Ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files on a device or network, making them unusable until the victim pays the attacker a ransom. What started as a simple virus spread through floppy discs in the late 1980s has now evolved into a billion-dollar cybercrime industry.
The introduction of security solutions can provide some level of protection, but ransomware gangs are continuously exploring new methods to circumvent such safeguards. It is clear that as long as these malicious actors successfully coerce victims into paying a ransom, the number and severity of incidents will continue to rise.
Fortunately, the fear of a ransomware attack does not have to be paralyzing. However, taking the proper precautions can fortify your security and respond swiftly in case of an attack. This article will examine the most effective methods of preventing ransomware and provide helpful guidance on how to begin protecting your organization now.
Best practices and precautions
To protect against ransomware, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends the following precautions:
Back up data regularly on a separate device and store it offline.
Regularly backing up your data is an essential precaution to minimize the risk of data loss due to ransomware. Keeping a copy of your data on a separate device and storing it offline will help you recover your data after a ransomware attack. It’s also crucial to test your backup system regularly to ensure the data can be restored when needed.
Never click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails.
Phishing emails are a common tactic used by cybercriminals to trick users into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected attachments. It’s essential to verify the sender and email content before clicking links or downloading files. If you ever receive an email from an unknown sender or a source you don’t recognize, it’s best to delete it immediately and warn your colleagues.
Regularly update software and operating systems with the latest patches.
One of the simplest yet most effective measures against ransomware is regularly updating your software and operating systems with the latest patches since cybercriminals often target outdated applications and systems.
Keeping your systems up to date ensures security gaps and vulnerabilities are patched, making it much harder for attackers to find a way in.
Follow safe practices when using devices that connect to the internet.
Safe practices when using devices that connect to the internet include:
- Avoiding public Wi-Fi networks
- Not downloading files from untrusted sources
- Ensuring your firewall is turned on
You should also ensure that your device has up-to-date antivirus software installed and that you use a secure web browser.
In addition to these measures, there are several other best practices that you can adopt to protect against ransomware:
Strong password policies and good password hygiene: This involves implementing password policies that require users to create strong, unique passwords and regularly change them.
Anti-phishing and email security protocols and tools: These can include email filters that can help block malicious emails before they reach your inbox.
Vulnerability scanning: Routine scanning can help identify vulnerabilities in your systems and applications before attackers can exploit them.
Automated patch management: Automating patch management eliminates the need for manual checks for outdated software/systems, saving time and ensuring your systems are consistently up to date and secure.
Endpoint detection and response (EDR): EDR focuses on monitoring endpoints, such as desktops, laptops and mobile devices, for suspicious activity and responding to any detected threats.
Network monitoring: This involves monitoring your network for suspicious activity and responding to any detected threats.
Network segmentation: Segmentation means dividing your network into smaller, more secure segments to limit the spread of malware in the event of an attack.
Identity and access management (IAM): IAM helps manage user access to your systems and applications, ensuring users only have the access they need to perform their roles.
Security awareness training: Regular security awareness training can help educate your employees to identify and avoid phishing emails and other common cyberthreats.
Partner to succeed
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