Data to a Cyber Criminal is as precious as gold, and to a Cyber Criminal Ransomware is just one of the tools at their disposal to attack, steal and/or encrypt a business’ critical data. It represents a unique and malicious blend of cyber intrusion and digital extortion.
At its core, ransomware is a malicious software designed with one goal in mind: to infiltrate computer systems, hunt out data, in some cases copy it to a remote location, encrypt the data, and demand a ransom for its release. The word 'ransomware' derives its name from this very act, holding data 'ransom' until the victim is willing to pay. However, the term Ransomware is often also used in context of an attacker stealing data, not encrypting it, sending proof of stolen data and asking for payment to delete the data it. Typically, payment is demanded in cryptocurrency, given its anonymous nature, making it a preferred choice for cyber criminals.
As businesses further embrace the digital world, through cloud solutions, software as a service, and even down to not using email security solutions to protect against phishing, targeted attacks and human error, this increases a business’s vulnerability to cyber attacks. Ransomware preys on these vulnerabilities, and its impact is far-reaching. When an organisation suffers from a ransomware attack, it's not just dealing with a temporary technological hitch. Instead, it grapples with a cascade of disruptions:
A halt in business operations leading to a ripple effect in productivity and potential revenue.
Direct costs of the ransom, coupled with hidden costs from system recovery, legal and regulatory involvement, and possible fines.
The looming threat that data might never be fully recovered, deleted from an attackers system or prevented from leak on the dark web, even if the ransom is paid.
A shaken trust from partners, clients, and the general public, potentially leading to lost business ventures.
While the immediate consequences of a ransomware breach are undoubtedly dire, the aftershocks can be even more damaging, potentially lasting years or even to the closure of businesses. The fallout isn't just restricted to tangible assets, files or immediate finances. It extends to intangibles like brand value, trust, and market standing among competitors:
Potential regulatory investigations, legal repercussions, and substantial fines in industries where data security is paramount.
A tangible drop in stock prices or company valuation as investors and stakeholders react to the loss of data.
The risk of sensitive information landing in the wrong hands, such as being leaked on the dark web or sold to competitors may offer others a window into company strategies, customers, and much more
An increase in insurance premiums due to a cyber attack is only the start. A reactive surge to a cyber attack could result in the wrong solutions being implemented to prevent further attacks.
While the ongoing threat of ransomware attacks loom large, businesses aren't helpless. A comprehensive cyber security strategy and a culture of cyber security awareness can act as a protective barrier against such threats. Ensuring that you have a comprehensive strategy in place now, built specifically around your business practices, can act as a protective barrier against potential attacks. Protecting your business from potentially devastating consequences.
The first step is acknowledging the risk and then equipping your business with the right services and solutions to protect you and your employees:
Creating and maintaining up-to-date copies of all essential data in a secure, isolated environment as part of the 3, 2, 1 Backup Strategy and with Backup Security is essential to being able to recover your data in the event of a cyber attack or natural disaster.
Cultivating a workforce that's vigilant and educated about the ever-evolving landscape of cyber security threats, dangers, and ways to spot them is an essential practice for a modern business.
Keeping software and systems updated, ensuring that any potential security loopholes are swiftly addressed is key. Updates are released regularly to prevent against the exploitation of zero-day threats.
Leveraging cutting-edge technology to detect and neutralise threats at the initial point of entry can stop a wider spread throughout your business. Endpoint Detection & Response uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to monitor for unusual, suspicious, or malicious activity on your endpoints, preventing your business from up to 50%-70% of the latest malware threats that Anti-Virus can not.
Designing a network infrastructure that limits the reach of potential threats is essential. By segmenting your critical infrastructure to ensure that it is protected from public or other shared infrastructure is just one part of this, by implemented controlled or limited access you can enhance your network access rules.
Adopting a structured access model to access your data and infrastructure ensures that data is only accessible to those who genuinely require it. Controlling user access levels, or implementing temporary access permissions, means that you can ensure that you know who has access to your data at all times.
No matter how robust your Cyber Security Strategy, an Incident Response Plan to any form of Cyber Attack or Data Breach is essential. As has been seen in attacks such as the MOVEit Data Breach, it is essential that businesses (and governments) respond to Cyber Attacks, inform stake holders, staff members and also the public. This is especially important when a Cyber Attacks results in a Data Breach where customer/client data has been compromised.
Ransomware attacks can be devastating for any business. They provide an easy entry point for cyber criminals to steal sensitive data and wreak havoc on networks. The downtime caused by compromised systems can have far-reaching consequences, from decreased productivity to a loss of customer trust. But there is a proactive measure that can help mitigate the legal and financial costs of a cyber attack. Ransomware attack prevention includes vulnerability management, and is completed through regular assessments so that we can identify and fix potential entry points before they become a problem.
Our Comprehensive Cyber Security Solutions are designed to protect your business from emerging Cyber Security threats such as Malware, Ransomware and other targeted attacks.
Don't wait for an attack to happen - act now to prevent ransomware from compromising your business' security.
Contact us to learn about our new ransomware attack prevention services in Doncaster and Bracknell.