Ransomware protection has long been a critical component of any good cybersecurity strategy, and IT professionals are constantly monitoring for new risks.
What is causing some concern for organizations, whether big or small, is the rise in high-profile cases hitting the media, which means that suddenly everyone is thinking more seriously about their risk level and how to protect their data – and their business.
Firstly, let’s clarify exactly what it is. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed by ‘bad actors’ to block access to computer systems and data, in order make the target cough up and pay a large sum of money.
There are several tactics that might be used to try and infect your computer. We all know about malicious spam such as emails that try to “trick” you in to clicking on a link or opening a virus-loaded attachment. There are also malicious websites that look legitimate.
More developed tactics include cybercriminals posting as official departments such as government, banks, or police, with the sole aim of scaring users into giving up a large ransom sum.
Secondly, we need to clarify who might be at risk. And the simple answer is, anyone!
Often ransomware attacks will be aimed at large organisations, but individuals or small business owners can also find themselves targets. And realistically, for many of us it’s not a case of if – but when.
What happens when you’re ransomed?
So, what happens if you are an unfortunate and unsuspecting victim and end up ransomed?
Some of the most common concerns that come along with ransomware attacks include:
- Having all your files and data locked up until you pay up
- Costly downtime in all areas of the business
- Loss of reputation through brand damage
- Loss of profits or reduced growth
Thinking this won’t ever happen to you? Well, you might want to think again. According to the government’s cybersecurity agency, ACSC, there has been a 60 percent increase in ransomware attacks against Australian entities in the past year.
And the costs can be crippling. In one new report, it’s estimated ransomware attacks in Australia cost businesses up to $240 million in 2019 alone.
Is your industry at risk?
Multiple reports show that certain industries are more at risk than others, but any industry, and any business or individual can become a target if the right cyber security plans are not put in place. In fact, some businesses will become targets purely by mistake (i.e. they were not the original target).
Industries most at risk of cyber-attacks:
- Government – a tempting target because of the ability to impact many lives, increasing the chance of the ransom being paid
- Healthcare – this industry is often rolling out new or updated technology quickly
- HR departments – payroll is often managed by HR, and this is an irresistible target for bad actors’
- Retail – thanks to e-commerce, retail is also a large target
- Mining – mining uses a complicated supply chain and allows many ‘weak points’ for ransomware to infiltrate
- Schools – due to the fact that school funding for security is modest and resources are spread thin due to virtual learning.
Take control of your threat protection
We know that Ransomware attacks can be stressful and costly for anyone – whether an individual, a large organisation, or a sole trader business. Thankfully, with the right managed IT plan, you can strengthen your defences and keep your data safe.
Multiple layers of protection are better, like a castle with a moat, drawbridge, and guards. Therefore, it is best to look for strategies to protect, but also have capabilities to react quickly if a threat does appear.
Look to proactively defend your data with a range of high-level solutions. At Black and White we offer Datto Ransomware detection, which gives us the capability to act quickly if a ransomware attack starts. It can help identify and alert us to an attack if your systems and files are targeted. Furthermore, it will attempt to isolate your compromised computer from the network to help protect other devices on the network. It will then attempt to remove the nasty code running. This solution covers both physical and virtual systems. Once the attack has been dealt with, we can help get your business back to normal with minimal downtime.
Threatlocker protection, is an additional and deeper level of protection, and also available from Black and White. This software is called “Zero Trust” and assumes that all app files are dangerous. It gives you low level management to what files and applications can run on your computer.. You will have full control over the level of protection aimed at stopping ransomware and other malicious behaviours.
The combination of Datto Ransomware Protection and Threatlocker will act as that Moat and Drawbridge for your IT Castle. It will help reduce the risk of falling victim.
You might also want to chat to us about patching updates and even consider cyber insurance.
Protect your data from being held hostage
Are you ready to protect and defend? At Black and White, we give our clients the peace of mind that their data is being defended with the most up-to-date software and systems. Ask us about the cybersecurity options that will suit your business – contact us here.