Ransomware Prevention: Is it Possible or Impossible?

Everyone—from government agencies, to small businesses, and small towns—is vulnerable to ransomware attacks. This form of cyberthreat is pervasive. Some researchers estimate that ransomware attacks make up about 25% of all cyber incidents.

What is Ransomware?

The first known ransomware attack occurred all the way back in 1989. Ransomware is relatively self-explanatory. An attacker captures, encrypts, and holds data and systems from an organization until the organization pays the attacker. This attack can happen in a variety of ways from phishing emails to software vulnerabilities.

The user’s systems are more or less inoperable until either the ransom is paid to the attacker for access to an encryption key, or the files and systems are recovered by restoring backup copies and systems. Every organization is vulnerable to ransomware attacks, especially in today’s age. More employees are bringing their own devices to work, and users are bombarded with phishing emails.

Your IT department is already overloaded with other priorities and may not have the bandwidth to focus exclusively on preventing ransomware attacks. Total prevention of ransomware may be impossible, but there are steps you can take to improve your defense against ransomware attacks.

Educate Employees

Your users are one of your biggest vulnerabilities when it comes to ransomware attacks. The majority of ransomware attacks occur when users click on malicious links or download email attachments. Even the most seasoned cybersecurity professionals can fall victim to these attacks. Training your employees to be aware of ransomware attacks is key.

Secure Backup Data and Systems

Conducting regular backups of your systems and data makes your organization safer from ransomware attacks. These backups should be stored offline and offsite, so they cannot be accessed through your network. Even if attackers break into your organization’s network, they will not be able to access these stores.

When you have data and system backups, you may not have to pay the ransom, if you can restore the data and systems that the attacker has captured. Your IT services provider can help ensure that you have the right backup systems in place.

Cybersecurity Solutions

Organizations can utilize a number of cybersecurity software solutions to help prevent ransomware attacks. Email security software can help reduce the number of malicious emails that reach end-users. This cybersecurity tool scans incoming and outgoing emails for suspicious links and attachments to prevent ransomware attacks.

Anti-malware software can also help prevent ransomware attacks. These software programs protect systems and individual computers from being infected with malware. There are also ransomware detection tools that alert users to the presence of ransomware in devices and networks.

Preventing ransomware attacks may not be possible, but your organization can take the proper precautions to ensure you are ready for the next ransomware attack. As long as you have the right backup and cyber defenses in place, your business can reduce the chances of a ransomware attack taking hold of your data and systems.

Our team will help you ensure that your business stays up and running. We offer the best solutions from trusted vendors, such as Cisco, Abacode, Palo Alto, F5, Cloudflare, and more, to protect your business from ransomware attacks. If you are looking to reduce your chances of a ransomware attack, reach out to our team today. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have about ransomware defense.