Safeguarding Your Business Data Against Ransomware Threats: 3 Proven Strategies
Ransomware is becoming an increasingly severe danger to both organizations and individuals. Ransomware encrypts data on compromised devices and has become a profitable choice for cyber extortionists. Whenever the virus is executed, it encrypts the victim’s data and enables attackers to demand money to unlock it.
However, ransomware assaults have increased by 13% in the previous five years, with a $1.85 million average cost per incidence. It’s a severe threat but must not be fatal to your firm. Regardless, businesses may secure their data and lower their chance of being attacked by taking the necessary precautions.
Organizations that either avoid ransomware attacks or safeguard their data from them could save themselves considerable recovery expenses, limit the chance of disruption to their routine operation, and defend their brand. In this post, discover three practical tactics that businesses may use to protect their data against ransomware attacks.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files, invades computer systems, and demands payment for the decryption key. It may infiltrate via various means, such as network flows, hacked websites, malicious downloads, and phishing emails. Once infected, victims must choose between paying the ransom and losing access to critical data.
Recently, there have been some well-publicized cases, including transmitting malware-infected URLs or PDF files over WhatsApp. Raising awareness and executing effective ransomware protection tactics to avoid and respond to such attacks are critical in combating this expanding threat.
What Are the Common Types of Ransomware?
Ransomware is continually changing, and new variations surface regularly. As a result, compiling a list of every sort of ransomware currently in circulation would be difficult, when not impossible.
CryptoLocker is spread through spam and exploit kits. Whenever the virus is executed, it installs itself in the Windows User Profiles folder and encrypts files on mapped and local network storage. It encrypts files with specific extensions like AutoCAD, pictures, OpenDocument, and Microsoft Office. Once the dirty job is completed, a notice telling the user that their files have been encrypted appears on their screen, requesting a Bitcoin payment.
After the demise of the first CryptoLocker, CryptoWall rose to prominence. Whenever you open the malware attachment, the CryptoWall program replicates itself into the Microsoft temp folder and encrypts data. CryptoWall encrypts more file types than CryptoLocker, but after encryption is finished, it also shows a ransom notice demanding money on the user’s screen.
CTB-Locker’s perpetrators employ a unique technique for malware spreading. Moreover, hackers outsource the infecting process to partners in exchange for a percentage of the income. This is a tried-and-true method for rapidly increasing the number of malware infections.
Locky is a new sort of ransomware, although its technique is well-known. The virus is distributed by spam, most commonly as an email message masquerading as an invoice. Whenever the invoice is opened, it is encrypted, and the victim is prompted to allow macros to understand the document. Locky starts encrypting various file types utilizing AES encryption once macros are enabled. When the encryption is finished, a Bitcoin ransom is sought. Locky spam campaigns are taking place on a vast scale.
TeslaCrypt is yet another new form of ransomware. It, like the majority of the other examples here, encrypts data using the AES algorithm. It’s commonly transmitted using the Angler exploit kit, which targets Adobe vulnerabilities. TeslaCrypt downloads itself in the Microsoft temporary folder if a vulnerability is discovered.
TorrentLocker is generally disseminated via spam email campaigns and is geographically intended, with email messages sent to specific locations. TorrentLocker, also known as CryptoLocker, encrypts file formats with an AES algorithm. It gathers email addresses from the victim’s address book and encodes files to propagate malware beyond the first infected network or device.
KeRanger malware was recently spotted on a significant BitTorrent client, as per ArsTechnica. KeRanger is not widely disseminated, but it is notable for being the first fully functional ransomware built to lock Mac OS X programs.
Three Effective Strategies to Protect Your Enterprise Data from Ransomware Attacks
To safeguard your business data, ensure you have prepared your solid strategies. This might include:
Immutable backups cannot be changed or deleted by anybody with access to them. These backups are essential for safeguarding your data from ransomware attacks because they secure your data from harmful actions.
Immutable backups may be made with various technologies, including cloud-based object storage and WORM (Write Once Read Many) storage, enabling immutability. Furthermore, you must have a plan based on the immutability of your backups to recover your data yourself, even if you are still paying to keep them from disclosing some of that material.
As per recent research, organizations that employed immutable backups were 96% of the time able to recover their data from ransomware assaults. This emphasizes the need to incorporate immutable backups within your data protection plan.
Tape backups have been around for a long time and remain functional in today’s digital world. Tape backups offer an air-gapped backup option, which implies they’re physically separated from the network and the internet. Because the infection cannot spread to the tape backups, they provide an excellent defense against ransomware assaults.
Furthermore, tape backups are a more cost-effective backup option than other forms of backups, like disk-based backups. Enterprise Strategy Group research shows tape backups could be up to 15 times less expensive than disk-based backups.
3-2-1 Backup Plan
The 3-2-1 backup plan is a generally established data protection best practice. It entails storing three copies of your data on two separate media types, with one copy offshore. This protects your data from various risks, such as ransomware assaults. According to one research, organizations that used the 3-2-1 backup method were 96% of the time able to retrieve their data from ransomware assaults.
Ransomware-wielding cybercriminals are formidable foes. Although small-to-medium-sized enterprises are not expressly targeted in ransomware operations, they might be more vulnerable to an assault. Due to economic restrictions, small business IT teams are often stretched thin and must rely on outmoded technologies.
This is the ideal storm for ransomware exposure. Fortunately, there are tried-and-true methods for protecting your company from ransomware assaults. Security software is necessary, but it cannot be relied on alone. A comprehensive protective approach necessitates knowledge of ransomware, backup, and security.