How Ransomware Works in 2020
Unlike many other security threats, the purpose or ransomware has remained largely unchanged. The goal of a ransomware attack is incredibly simple. Attackers use software to alter a server, database, or endpoint by encrypting it. Then, the owner of the infected asset is contacted, and the hacker asks for a payment in exchange for decrypting it. Often, attackers will threaten to delete any data on the device if their demands aren’t met.
The nature of the ransom can vary to a degree. While the request is typically financial in nature, precisely what kind of payment the hackers want isn’t always the same. Asking for a specific amount of a particular cryptocurrency isn’t uncommon, though some may request for the payment to be in prepaid cards.
Essentially, ransomware takes your data or systems hostage. If you don’t pay the ransom in the requested form and within a set amount of time, the hackers don’t give you back control.
However, even paying doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive the decryption key. Approximately 20 percent of companies who pay the ransom never regain control of the asset.
Protecting Your Company from Ransomware
Safeguarding your data is often a priority. As a result, you need to take specific steps to reduce the likelihood that your systems will be infected by ransomware.
Begin by reducing the number of vulnerabilities in your systems and software. Identify potential issues, install patches or software updates, and make sure your endpoint security – such as virus detection, firewalls, port control, and more – are operating optimally. Additionally, implement user authentication solutions, preferably those that use two-factor authentication.
Make sure your IT team has robust 24/7 monitoring tools. Solutions that use automation for threat detection and issuing alerts to critical employees are often ideal, as they can identify suspicious activity regardless of whether an employee is actively examining that system.
Having a backup protocol in place is also wise. By regularly backing up data, you don’t lose everything due to an attack. Similarly, having disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place is critical, allowing you to move forward regardless of the outcome.
Finally, also make sure your employees are adequately trained. Educating them about the different kinds of malware, how to spot suspicious activity, and what to do if they receive a questionable email or email can all help. It allows you to reduce the odds that a worker will accidentally load malicious software onto a business system.
Ready for a New Job? Contact The Armada Group!
Ultimately, ransomware will continue to be a threat in 2020, so it’s wise to take precautions to keep your data and systems safe. If you’d like to learn more, the team at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today and see how our IT security expertise can benefit you.