Today, a major part of our personality is shaped by our digital lifestyle. As we shift towards putting everything about our life online, we don’t realize that we are becoming more and more susceptible to getting preyed on by cyber attackers and hackers.
One of the most dreaded forms of cyber-attack is ransomware so in 2021, it’s important to understand what ransomware is, and how to deal with it.
Ransomware is a piece of software that enters your system and almost kidnaps it and then holds your files and access to our computer captive, in exchange for a ransom.
In most cases it prohibits you to opening files or your entire system unless you digitally pay a ransom.
What Does A Ransomware Attack Look Like?
If your system is under a ransomware attack, it is highly unlikely that you will miss it.
It starts when the ransomware gains access or an entry into your device.
Some with choke up your entire operating system, denying you access to everything. Others may encrypt an individual file or files that you will not be able to open.
The victim now receives a ransom demand, which if not met, their files may be made public, destroyed forever, or simply denied access forever.
What Can Be The Consequences Of Ransomware?
A ransomware attack cannot benefit or be of use to you in any way. There are serious ramifications that follow, and below we’ve listed the top 5 consequences of ransomware.
In the world of the internet, downtime is a serious problem.
So when ransomware enters your system, everything goes in a sudden freeze mode.
If this happens your customers lose access to you and your business, and you run a risk of losing them forever as they try to do business elsewhere.
2. Interlinked Liability
It doesn’t matter who let the cyberattack in, all that matters after you are under a cyberattack is that everyone is at risk.
Individuals, businesses all are at risk and will be affected by the damage the attackers choose to inflict.
If the result of the attack is making all information public, then reputation can be damaged and trade secrets can be lost.
3. Brand Image
It will sometimes be a matter of public knowledge if you have been under a cyberattack and ransomware has been used to take advantage of you.
This makes brand building difficult as the brand image takes a major hit!
Your users are likely to not trust you with their data and it’s very hard to regain that trust.
4. Output Loss
It doesn’t take hours to solve a ransomware issue. At times, it may take days, even months depending on what the demand is.
If the problem is not solved quickly, the overhead costs of employees and staff start to add up big time and the business is bound to incur major losses as there is no output during the attack.
5. Priceless Data
When a ransom demand is not met, it often is the case where data that was being held captive is deleted.
For big institutions and businesses, data loss is a kind of loss that you can’t put a price to.
Data that has been built for years can go away permanently in a moment, causing permanent damages which is why backup and disaster recovery solutions are so important.
How To Defend Against Ransomware Attacks?
There are ways to defend against ransomware attacks. Here are the top 5…
1. Backup Is The Backbone
Make backing-up a part of your typical business day. When your systems are under attack, your backup must be safe and ready to be restored at any moment.
2. Tighten Your Screening Process
Don’t open every email that drops in your mailbox.
One impulsive click on one ill-intended email can cause you to sustain damages that you don’t deserve. Always screen, check, and estimate which unknown emails should be opened, and which should be deleted.
3. Antivirus Firewall
A strong firewall can be your biggest weapon in the fight against ransomware! Invest in a solid antivirus firewall that will not let ransomware pass through your system.
4. Whitelisting Vs Blacklisting
Blacklisting is the process of blocking the download and access of specified and listed software and websites. But no matter how diligently you blacklist, there will always holes that cyber attackers may find!
Choose to whitelist instead.
Whitelist the software applications that you want to allow and rest everything automatically will be barred from use.
5. Disaster Management
Come up with a recovery plan and update it regularly.
A disaster recovery plan aka DRP is something that can be easily customized by experts in the field for your business and its protection.
Ransomware is an extremely dangerous form of malware.
You may be an individual or a business, but ransomware can exploit a security vulnerabilities and leave you exposed.
Talk to our cyber security experts about a security audit on your business and start working on your cyber security plan.