In case you’ve been living under a rock, know that ransomware is everywhere and it’s not slowing down anytime soon. Ransomware is a particularly nasty malware that locks you out of your devices and data. Hackers will demand a ransom, usually in bitcoin and since they are so kind, you may get a file unlocked to prove they mean business.
The worst thing about it, once you are hit, there is almost nothing you can do. You really only have 2 options: don’t pay the ransom and lose your data or pay it. There is no easy “downloadable” fix, despite claims you will see online. You are stuck. With ransomware, the ONLY real cure is prevention.
The top 4 reasons you are susceptible to Ransomware:
Security Awareness Training- This is by far the BIGGEST reason companies deal with ransomware, phishing and other hacking exploits. Educating and testing your end users on best practices and what to watch out for, can essentially create a “human firewall”. The investment is minimal compared to the alternative.
Improper Backups- not backing up your data or worse, backing it up improperly will ensure that your data is lost forever. You can choose to pay the ransom but is there “honesty among thieves”? Cyber criminals often have no intention of returning your stolen data or unlocking y our systems despite paying the ransom.
Weak Credentials- Not having a clearly defined IT policy that allows end users to use the same password over and over is a recipe for disaster. People like passwords that are easy to remember, thus, they use them for many different systems. Cyber criminals are well aware of this fact and will exploit it to their advantage.
Multi-factor Authentication- If you are still relying on simple passwords to access your most critical systems, you’re taking a big gamble. Multifactor Authentication provides a second layer “password” and only grants access when certain criteria is met.
To make sure you are as protected as you can be, we strongly recommend you contact a technical security expert to consult on the best way to protect against ransomware and other security hacks.