According to IT services experts in San Antonio, 2016 and 2017 were highly profitable years for ransomware. While the number of attacks has started to decline in 2018, they are still a danger to unprotected businesses in every sector of the economy. Is your business vulnerable?
Ransomware Is Profitable
Ransomware has been around for well over a decade. However, it’s definitely become more dangerous over the last few years.
In the early years, hackers would lock down the keyboard or the computer to try and scare the victim into paying the ransom. Today, hackers have become more sophisticated. Instead of attacking the hardware, they go after the data. The hackers encrypt the data with a private key that only they know. They will give the key over in exchange for a ransom to be paid in Bitcoin.
This kind of attack can be devastating. In early 2016, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles was down for over a week due to a ransomware attack. During that time, they had no access to patient or billing data. They only regained their data after paying the Bitcoin ransom.
In many cases, according to IT services experts in San Antonio, the attackers don’t always give the encryption key. They disappear with the money and leave the victim in the same position as before.
How to Protect Your Business
The best way to protect your business is to have a well-planned offense and defense against ransomware.
Do you back up your data regularly? Overnight backups are okay, but real-time backups are better.
Are your employees trained to identify phishing emails? Training your employees will greatly reduce the chances of a phishing email entry point.
Do you follow the principle of giving access only to the systems an employee needs? That way, the files the ransomware can access are limited.
Do you have an action plan if a ransomware attack occurs? As soon as an attack is detected, you need to act quickly. Quarantine the infected parts of the network. Unplug infected computers from the network. Remove external drives to prevent infection.
Do you have multiple layers of your network protected? Updated virus protection is only the first step. You need anti-phishing software in place to filter malware emails out. You need network analytics in place to detect communications from the ransomware to an external server.
With the continuing threat from ransomware and other forms of malware, you need to protect your company by identifying vulnerabilities and hardening your assets. For assistance in this and other areas, get in touch with us at ICS. We provide IT services in San Antonio that can help keep your business safe from any cyber attack.