5 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Ransomware

5 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Ransomware
5 Tips for Protecting Your Business from Ransomware

While ransomware threats are in no way new, hackers are evolving their strategies to target more businesses than ever. While all technology users are at risk of cyber attacks, this fear is even more real for businesses which possess client and customer data. We’ve all seen the recent news reports of business breaches in which user information is shared negatively. This type of breach is catastrophic to organizations, and it’s something you need to create a plan against.

According to a 2017 report, mobile ransomware has increased by over 250%. This means businesses are more susceptible than ever before, and hackers are starting to attack new technology as well as traditional systems. Small businesses in the United States lost a reported $75 million in downtime due to ransomware attacks in 2016 alone, not to mention the lost data. With frightening statistics like that, how can you protect your business? This guide outlines the top ways to prevent your business from becoming the victim of a ransomware attack.

1. Educate your employees.

While a lot of ransomware attacks are sophisticated and hard to identify, this isn’t always true. Common sense and computer know-how will go a long way to protecting your company. Your first line of defense should always be education. Talk to your employees about phishing schemes and always report anything that doesn’t look legitimate.

While most employees know how to avoid scammy emails, it’s best to review these common schemes with them. Host meetings where you point out email best practices like never clicking on an unusual link or not sharing private information via email. It’s never worth the risk, so make sure you and your employees know what to look for.

2. Have a backup plan.

No matter what you do to protect yourself, things do happen. The best option is to always have a backup plan. What happens if your website goes down or if your information is breached? You need a backup. Research online backup solutions to fit your companies needs so you know how to handle a situation where your information is compromised. Test your backup systems and remind the team to always back up their information.

3. Stay up to date.

Hackers are most likely to attack an older system. Every time a computer software updates, it brings new security features. If you’re still using outdated browsers, systems, and applications, you’re prone to attack. Since hackers use these old systems as their testing grounds, they know their way around them. Configure your systems to automatically update so you’re never left with any weak spots.

4. Create layered protection.

You can’t ever rely on just one thing to protect your company. Hackers are looking for easy targets. If you see that you don’t take your security seriously, you’ve become just that target. Always layer your protections through things like firewalls, antivirus software, and anti-malware security tools.

There is no one-size-fits-all. Talk with a business security expert to decide the best way to keep your protected information secure. In addition, research into the applications and software you’re already using to see how they protect user information. You want all weak areas to be covered.

5. Consider blockchain.

Finally, look at new technology for improvements. There is current research that suggests blockchain technology might be the cyber security solution we’ve been waiting for. Because no single entity can control a blockchain, there is no weak part to be exploited. Once written into the blockchain, data is permanent and can’t be changed. This is why many businesses are beginning to implement blockchain contracts as a way to protect their agreements and their financial information.

While blockchain is still being researched, it’s something to look out for in the near future. Ultimately, the best way to protect your business against attack is to avoid becoming a target. Taking your information seriously is vital in this day and age, and your company reputation relies on your ability to stay strong.

Ultimately, if your information is breached, don’t give in to the attack. Don’t pay ransom or attempt to negotiate with hackers. This only lets them know that they’re in control. Instead, involve the authorities and find new ways to protect yourself. These tips above put you in the driver’s seat of your own security.

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