It can be hard to react to and remediate ransomware attacks; by the time you realize you're under attack, you're already in damage control mode.
The sheer number of ransomware attacks that take place isn't surprising. Though organizations across the globe have long been plagued by ransomware, the recent increase in hybrid work environments has led to a subsequent increase in cyberattacks. A report by Cybersecurity Ventures states that globally, a business succumbs to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. This means there's a very good chance that by the time you finish reading this article, almost 10 organizations will be having a face-off with an attacker.
While it's advisable to adopt enhanced security solutions to monitor ransomware in real time, this article will look at some ways to reduce the possibility of a ransomware attack occurring in the first place. Because you know what they say: Prevention is better than cure.
- Identify and secure exposed assets
Exposed assets refer to an organization’s websites, databases,documents, and any other online information or portal susceptible to hacking attempts.
Once you've identified what's being exposed, the next step is to link those assets to security measures, like patching and timely software updates, to keep them safe from exploitation. Also, this shouldn't be a one-time security exercise. It's critical to keep an eye on your security measures to see if something isn't operating properly and make any necessary improvements.
Simply put, determine any assets that are exposed to the internet and secure them around the clock.
- Recreate corporate security measures for individual remote workers
The need to protect data from attacks and illegal access has always existed, but it's never been more urgent than since the pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital transformation. As hybrid work becomes more popular in the next few years, one of the biggest challenges will be recreating the same enterprise-grade security perimeter for workers in several remote locations, including measures like firewalls and multi-factor authentication. While multi-factor authentication offers an extra layer of security and reduces the danger of stolen or weak credentials, firewalls prevent ransomware from communicating with your network.
Deep dive: Here's an on-demand webinar on enhancing endpoint security for remote workers.
- Encrypt sensitive corporate data
If your organization falls victim to a ransomware attack, would you pay the ransom?
If your answer is yes, you should consider investing in a data encryption tool if you haven't already. Paying the ransom at any cost carries risks. First, it doesn't guarantee that your data is still safe and recoverable. Second, paying ransom only encourages ransomware attackers to carry out larger attacks in the future.
One way of insuring yourself against facing such situations is to invest in a strong encryption tool that prevents the disclosure of sensitive information when attackers try to access it.
The bottom line
There are many ways that an attacker can get to your data; ransomware is just one of them. Threat actors can exploit a vulnerability in your application, obtain access to your server, or steal your laptop when you're on the go. It may sound simple, but the best way to mitigate an attack is to prevent it from happening in the first place.