Ransomware is the number one malware threat to businesses around the world. But do you know exactly what it is, and what you can do to help prevent it?

Ransomware - What is it and how can you help prevent it?

Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish victim's personal data or permanently block access to it unless a ransom is paid off.

What does it do?

The attacker works to lock down your PC and/or server, encrypting any data they have been able to infiltrate, and holding you to ransom, before they will hand this invaluable information back to you - not that there’s any guarantee they will. They are criminals after all!

Attacks are rarely limited to a sole computer, as malware is designed to route through business networks quickly, meaning numerous computers, servers and SaaS applications can be infected and encrypted in a very short space of time. This makes restores difficult and extremely time consuming.

Unsurprisingly, the aftermath of a ransomware attack can be devastating to businesses, with productivity hit to a level some businesses struggle to recover from.

The Cost to Business

Average ransom requests are thought to be in the region of £4,000-£5,000, not to mention the worry and anxiety an attack such of this can cause a business owner and its employees and can and often does lead many businesses paying ransom requests in order to return to normal quicker.

During the pandemic some Managed Service Provider reported an increase in Ransomware attacks. Although not an overwhelming one, it was noted that the increased risks were generally associated with companies allowing employees to utilise their own personal devices.

The healthcare industry became top of the target list, with finance and insurance companies coming closely behind.

The Risk

As technology advances, and our use of it grows, so does cyber crime and there are many unscrupulous people out there who won’t think twice about making you their next target. It is wise to understand the threat of Ransomware, and the solutions available to reduce the risk of attacks, and thus, protect your business.

How to protect your company

The best place to start is with employee education, helping to prevent attacks before they happen - and of course prevention is better than cure.

Anti-malware, anti-virus and email blockers all help, but sadly none of these solutions will rid us entirely of the threat Ransomware poses. Attackers frequently modify their malware to avoid detection, which means software can struggle to keep up. Making sure staff know what to look out for, can prevent issues escalating.

In addition, solutions that allow employees to get back to work quickly following an attack should also be considered as an essential part of your security network, these include end point protection (protection on each device used - be it a PC, laptop or server), and back up services.

It is worth noting that 91% of managed service providers, reported that businesses with Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery solutions in place were less likely to experience significant and damaging downtime as a result of a Ransomware attack.

We're here to help

If you would like further information, or need help securing your own systems and devices, let us know a good time to talk and one of the team will be in touch.

E: info@teamsirius.co.uk
T: 0191 419-8181
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