To keep up with the ever-expanding technological landscape, cybersecurity measures need to evolve as well. Every person and business needs to prioritise developing a ransomware defence strategy. Unprotected consumers and businesses are at risk of disclosing sensitive information without it.
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that in 2021, ransomware attacks would occur once every 11 seconds, costing victims about $20 billion. Targets of extortion tactics are typically those who can afford to pay the ransom in order to get their data back.
There are plenty of businesses whose data is their most valuable asset. A total shutdown of operations is possible if it is lost. Avoid falling behind on ransomware prevention measures, as doing so could leave you vulnerable to attacks. Read on to discover more about how to prevent assaults on your data and implement these safeguards now!
If a computer is infected with ransomware, private information or sensitive data may be held prisoner until a ransom is paid. Data access restrictions are a common method used by cybercriminals to extract ransom payments from their victims, and a binary encryption key is a common tool in this endeavour.
For businesses that rely on this data to function on a daily basis, ransomware attacks pose a particularly serious risk. If the ransom isn't paid, the data may be lost or compromised indefinitely.
Ransomware is typically spread through a variety of channels, including but not limited to:
- Phishing emails
- Visiting corrupted websites
- Downloading malicious attachments or infected file extensions
- Network as well as System vulnerabilities
- Remote desktop protocol (RDP) attacks
7 Most Useful Ransomware Prevention Hacks:
The good news is that there are several methods available for preventing ransomware infection. Keep yourself and your business safe from ransomware by always being proactive and following best cybersecurity practises, as technology is always changing.
- Backup Your Data:
One of the simplest ways to protect your data is to save copies of it offsite, either on an external hard drive or in the cloud. The user can restore the backup files after a clean system reboot in the event of a ransomware attack. Important data should be backed up at least once a day, if not more frequently.
The 3-2-1 rule is a common strategy used by many. In an ideal world, you would have three copies of your data, two on various types of storage and one in an offline location. Keeping a copy on a cloud server that is both immutable (cannot be changed) and indelible (cannot be erased) is an additional security measure.
- Keep Systems / Software Up-to-date:
Updating to the newest versions of your OS, browser, antivirus, and other applications is essential. It's important to keep your systems patched and up-to-date because ransomware, viruses, as well as malware are always developing new kinds that can circumvent your current protection measures.
Many attackers go after big companies that use old systems that haven't been updated in a long time. In 2017, WannaCry, a piece of bad software, shut down major companies all over the world. This may have been the most famous ransomware attack ever. It even shut down for four days the British National Health Service (NHS), the Telefónica - telecommunications firm in Spain, and the company that makes Apple chips, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC). Over 230,000 computers around the world were affected.
Attacks were aimed at PCs running obsolete versions of Windows. Many consumers and companies fell for the fraud because they were too slow to upgrade after a patch was published that would have halted the spread of malware. Since then, recommendations from security professionals throughout the world have urged businesses to implement immediate system updates.
- Install Antivirus Software & Firewalls:
The most popular and effective method of protection against ransomware is the use of comprehensive anti-malware as well as antivirus software. They are able to scan for hazards, identify them, and respond to them. However, you will also need to establish your firewall because antivirus software only operates on the internal level and can only identify an attack once it is already present in the system. This means that you will only be able to protect yourself if you set up your firewall.
In many situations, firewalls serve as the initial line of protection against any external or incoming attacks. It is able to defend against assaults that are software-based as well as hardware-based. Because they can identify potentially harmful data packets and prevent them from entering the system, firewalls are an indispensable component of any business or privately owned network.
- Network Segmentation:
In the event of a ransomware assault, it is crucial to contain the infection as quickly as possible. For an enterprise to stop ransomware from infecting other computers, network segmentation must be implemented to separate the network into several smaller networks.
In order to keep ransomware from encrypting the wrong data, it is important to implement separate security measures, firewalls, and access permissions for each subsystem. By isolating the affected area from the rest of the network, the security team will have more time to locate the problem and eliminate it.
- Email Protection:
mail phishing assaults have consistently been the most common way that malicious software is spread. Over half of MSPs expect phishing to be the primary vector for ransomware distribution in 2020.
Antivirus software is just one line of defence; other methods or tools such as:
- Do not download files or click on links in emails received from stranger email.
- Keep your email client software up-to-date, as security flaws in older programmes might be exploited by fraudsters.
- SPF, or Sender Policy Framework, is a method of email authentication that allows users to choose which servers are authorised to send mail.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) - Offers digital signature as well as an encryption key to ensure the email has not been tampered with in any way.
- Emails are further authenticated by Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC), which checks for compatibility with the SPF and DKIM protocols.
Whitelisting is the process of selecting which programmes are permitted to be downloaded and run on a network. In the event that an employee or user inadvertently downloads a malicious application or visits a compromised website, any unauthorised software or website that is not whitelisted will be limited or prohibited. Whitelisting software such as Windows AppLocker enables users to not only whitelist, but also "blacklist" or ban certain applications and websites.
Businesses that are expanding should make protecting their endpoints a top focus. When a company grows in size and the number of people using it does too, the number of endpoints (devices like laptops, servers, cellphones, etc.) that need protection rises accordingly. Every disconnected device provides another entry point for hackers to steal sensitive data or even compromise the entire network.
It is important to have Endpoint detection and response (EDR) or Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) in place for all network users, whether you are a sole proprietor or part of a larger organisation. Using these tools, admins can keep tabs on all of their remote devices and control their security from a central location. Comparatively speaking, EDR is a step up from EPP because it is designed to deal with threats as soon as they enter the network.