Ransomware Removal in Dallas
Ransomware is a big business for cybercriminals and a major concern for companies of every size. You've seen cases in the news of major companies and government entities hit by ransomware. What you might not realize is that you are a target. Every size company is a target. In fact, smaller companies are what you might classify as low-hanging fruit for cybercriminals.
Smaller companies can't spend as much on the latest security as their large enterprise counterparts, so they're a much easier target to gain access to. For small to medium-sized businesses the danger of falling victim to a breach is much greater. Small businesses accounted for nearly 30% of data breaches in 2020. Not only that, but the cost is much harder for smaller companies to overcome. Over half of all small businesses that experience a data breach wind up going out of business within a year.
The threat is much higher for small to medium-sized businesses because they often can't afford the loss. With ransomware, this situation is even more severe because the crime itself often means the criminals will try to extort the company. And many companies pay the cost. This puts you out of funds, disrupts business continuity, and can damage your reputation. It's a huge hurdle to come back from.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is one common type of cybercrime. The ransomware itself is a malicious code. It can embed itself in your internal system. Once it's inside your system, the code goes to work to encrypt all of your files. In most cases, the ransomware attackers do not make themselves known until they have access to everything they can possibly need.
Ransomware is designed to go unnoticed until they launch the attack. By that time, the hacker has access to all of your files, data, and functions. They can literally stop your business from moving or doing anything. And that's their goal. Once they launch the attack, they extort the company. The main purpose is often simply to get a ransom, thus the reason the attack was named ransomware.
The problem with just paying the attacker is that you can't be sure that they will give you full access back or that they don't have copies of your data. The data itself is valuable, too. The ransom itself is often exorbitant. But many companies have paid it to get their data and control back.
How Do They Launch a Ransomware Attack?
There are a number of ways that malicious actors can launch a ransomware attack. Cybercriminals work much in the same way that traditional criminals have always worked. They look for weak spots. The biggest weak spot in most technology is going to be human in nature. This might be human error, or it could actually be an inside person. Hackers have been known to find employees as a way to infiltrate companies. They may actually blackmail the employee to gain access. Or they may find a disgruntled employee and pay them.
For small to medium-sized businesses, the attack is often less sophisticated. Hackers may use phishing scams to get an employee to click on an infected link or download something they shouldn't.
Another possible way that hackers gain access is by exploiting weaknesses in software and platforms. If you ever wondered why Microsoft launches so many updates to Windows, it’s because they’ve found bugs or vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit. The updates patch these weaknesses.
Hackers are good at finding weaknesses in software. Large-scale attacks of that nature can impact any company that uses popular software that’s been compromised.
What Can You Do To Prevent a Ransomware Attack?
There are several things that you can do to protect your company from a ransomware attack. Here we’d like to discuss the most important for you to institute immediately.
The most common way for hackers to gain access is through employee error. The good news is that training can minimize your risks substantially. Develop a training protocol to help your employees learn the best practices. You should also mandate best practices throughout your company. This includes work employees might conduct at home or on personal devices.
Employee training should include onboarding procedures for new staff. You should also host updated training periodically to keep the knowledge fresh and address any new information about threats that they should know. Your cybersecurity company may offer employee training options and can help plan your protocols.
Invest in solid cybersecurity software. Your cybersecurity solution should be robust enough to protect your company from attack. Simply installing software is not enough. Make sure that your solution is routinely updated to keep you protected.
Business Continuity Planning
You should have a business continuity plan in place to address any possible emergency. Companies that don’t have a plan in place lose valuable time because they have to come up with solutions during a crisis. In this surprising scenario, companies often make critical errors that can cost them or make the situation worse. With a full strategy in place, you have fully thought out steps to take in any scenario to help you navigate the crisis.
Your crisis strategy should include the best ways to maintain business processes during a crisis.
Your Outsourced IT Partner
Choosing an excellent outsourced IT company means that you’ll get their expertise in developing your planning, training employees, and choosing the best solutions. Your outsourced IT Partner will also be on call to handle any emergency. With valuable industry knowledge, the best IT partner can help you navigate a ransomware attack while mitigating damage and saving time.