Ransomware is malware that encrypts devices or data and demands a ransom to be paid to decrypt. Each day, the tactics and techniques of cybercriminals to carry out ransomware attacks become more sophisticated, making it increasingly difficult to protect against these attacks.
According to Statista, 66% of companies were victims of ransomware attacks between March 2022 and March 2023. This goes to show the rapid increase in ransomware attacks. However, as businesses enhance their cybersecurity postures and secure their endpoints and other networks, cybercriminals have evolved in their approach and are bypassing endpoints and attacking cloud accounts directly. This includes Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Salesforce, and other SaaS platforms. This approach has become an alarming concern for individuals and organizations alike.
Therefore, to effectively protect yourself and your network from ransomware bypassing endpoints, securing the most vulnerable risk areas is more necessary than ever. This article will outline essential strategies for adequate ransomware protection that bypasses endpoints. But first, let us look at why ransomware is effective.
Why Is Ransomware So Effective?
Ransomware’s effectiveness comes from its use of powerful encryption algorithms that lock victims out of their own data. Decrypting the data is often futile as it can only be done by the hacker who holds the decryption key. This renders the victim’s data inaccessible and instills a sense of urgency and desperation to regain access. This gives hackers the confidence to extort a large amount of money from the victim by asking for a ransom to decrypt the data.
Its effectiveness is also due to individuals and businesses failing to have necessary security measures or using outdated software or operating systems. Not having these security measures gives hackers the confidence to launch and install ransomware successfully and ask for ransom.
Therefore, it can be said that the effectiveness of ransomware lies in its ability to exploit a combination of technical, psychological, and economic factors. Once an attack is successful, it costs individuals and businesses a lot of fortune, data, and productivity.
Essential Strategies for Effective Ransomware Protection
Below are essential strategies for adequate ransomware protection:
Cyber Awareness Training
Cyber awareness training is a training program that educates employees working in the office or remotely about cybersecurity risks. Educating employees about protecting the organization against social engineering attacks or phishing emails is vital in preventing ransomware.
It is important to note that when hackers use a phishing email to take advantage of a business’s security systems, they depend on human error or lack of insight to ensure the attack is launched successfully.
As a result, educating your employees on how to detect these attacks and avoid the risks can help you build a robust cybersecurity system. Regular training sessions on how to identify suspicious emails, links, and attachments can reduce the likelihood of falling victim to ransomware. This cyber awareness training should be regularly conducted because cybercriminals are becoming innovative in their tactics.
Backup Data Regularly
The best strategy to secure data against ransomware is to ensure that information is backed up in many locations, including your primary storage space, local drives, and a cloud-based service. Backing up data means you’ll be able to reduce the loss of any encrypted information and restore system functioning in the case of a ransomware attack.
Regularly backing up your data is a must. This is because if you are the victim of a ransomware attack and the cybercriminal takes your data, having a current backup will help you recover swiftly. Moreover, regularly backing up your data will help you retrieve your information without paying the ransom.
Note: Ensure you backup your data according to priority. Backup critical data first before other data. Also, these backups should be stored offline or in a separate network environment to prevent them from being compromised during an attack. Regularly test the restoration process to ensure the backups are functional and up to date.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
One of the simplest methods for attackers to launch ransomware attacks on corporate networks is through compromised credentials. However, adding multi-factor authentication to your account, particularly a high-level account, will safeguard your account against ransomware attacks.
MFA provides additional protection for your data and devices. MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) adds security to your account by requiring information other than your regular credentials, such as username and password, before gaining access.
Furthermore, multi-factor authentication verifies your account using biometrics such as face ID and fingerprint. This will prevent hackers or stop unauthorized users from accessing your account. Therefore, you must add multi-factor authentication to your account and business account to navigate ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity risks.
Regular Software Updates
Many businesses use out-of-date software or outdated systems that are no longer supported to carry out essential activities. Outdated software and operating systems are unpatched, making them vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Hackers frequently use unpatched software and an older operating system to successfully conduct ransomware attacks such as Mamba, WannaCry, and REvil.
Therefore, it is critical to keep your software updated because software updates introduce new security features, provide current functionality, prevent malware, solve technical issues, patch security weaknesses, and improve device performance.
Use Cybersecurity Solutions
Given the enormous growth in cyberattacks and hackers’ advanced tactics, cybersecurity solutions have improved swiftly, incorporating new approaches as they emerge. Technology like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other automated technologies combine endpoint security to provide endpoint devices and data with more robust cybersecurity protection.
They provide complete defense against a broad spectrum of current attacks, including ransomware, social engineering, script-based attacks, and zero-day threats. Therefore, businesses of all sizes should utilize these modern cybersecurity technologies to swiftly analyze and detect hazards in the massive volumes of information pouring across business networks.
Protect Your Accounts from Ransomware Attacks
Combining the above security measures with user education may drastically lower the chance of becoming a victim of such an attack. Quantum Technologies can help your Sturgeon Bay area business if attacks persist.
Contact us today to learn more! Call 920-256-1214 or reach us online.