If you’re a small or medium-sized business leader, you need to think about your ransomware protection strategy. Increasingly, malicious actors are pivoting their ransomware focus, with an increasing focus on targeting SMBs instead of large co-operations. Yes, you read that right. If you think that, as an SMB, cybercriminals aren’t interested in targeting your company, you’re wrong.
Research shows that 82% of ransomware attacks last year targeted SMBs. This is extremely troubling. SMBs often have less dedicated IT and cybersecurity resources than their bigger competitors. Just a single attack could be enough to take a business offline for months – or even for good.
So, how can SMBs defend against this proliferating threat? Read on for our must know tips to effectively combat ransomware.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that cybercriminals use. It works by encrypting files on a device or server, and then demanding a payment in bitcoin to unlock them. If the business wants to get their files back, they’ll need to pay the ransom. Otherwise, their data will be gone for good (unless it’s backed up!).
Ransomware can be delivered in numerous ways: phishing attacks, malicious advertising and security vulnerabilities are just some of the ways attackers manage to poison systems with ransomware.
Why are SMBs A Popular Target For Ransomware Attacks?
A Ransomware Gang Member once said: “You can hit the jackpot once, but provoke such a geopolitical conflict and you will be quickly found. It is better to quietly receive stable small sums from mid-sized companies.”
This epitomizes the reason why cybercriminals favor targeting smaller businesses instead of larger ones. Let’s break this down in more detail:
- Fewer defenses: Typically, SMBs can’t afford to invest in cybersecurity defenses as much as multinational companies. This essentially makes them low hanging fruit to cyber-attackers. While it might be complicated for a criminal to break into a larger company, it tends to be pretty straightforward to compromise a smaller one if they don’t work with a great security services provider.
- More likely to pay up: Because ransomware can be so devastating to an SMBs operations, they may be more likely to pay the ransomware demand, allowing hackers to make a quick buck!
- Less chance of federal follow-up: When hackers target political organizations or bigger organizations, there’s more chance of creating a media storm. This, in turn, draws the attention of the authorities, leading to law enforcement actively tracking hacking groups and trying to get them into prison. By contrast, SMBs may not draw the same type of media and law enforcement attention, making them an easier target.
As you can see, all of these factors make SMBs a tempting target for cyber-attackers. You need to protect yourself or you could be next.
How To Prevent, Respond and Recover From Ransomware
So, you know ransomware is a threat. But how do you stop it? Working with our clients, we put in place a four-step strategy to help organizations prevent, respond to and recover from ransomware. We use the highly-regarded NIST Framework as the basis for our approach.
1. Identify: SMB Ransomware Protection
We help our clients to understand the most vulnerable areas of their IT infrastructure, looking at sensitive data, endpoints, supply chain relationships and much more. From there, we map out a plan to put in place highly intelligent safeguards that defend against ransomware attacks.
2. Protect: SMB Ransomware Protection
With the plan in place, it’s time to implement ransomware defense solutions. This includes protections like backup, patch management, employee phishing training, implementing multi-factor authentication, cloud configuration assessment and anti-malware solutions.
3. Detect and Respond: SMB Ransomware Protection
Taking a multi-layered approach to ransomware protection is vital. Sophisticated, sneaky forms of malware can bypass even the most intelligent defenses. That’s why we put in place detection mechanisms to spot the signs of malware as early as possible. We use 24/7 monitoring and detection tools to discover any evidence of suspicious activity.
At the same time, we’ll put in place a thorough incident response plan so that, in the event of an attempted attack, everyone knows exactly how to respond in a calm and orderly fashion.
4. Recover: SMB Ransomware Protection
With these defenses in place, it’s now very unlikely you’ll suffer a ransomware attack. At the same time, though, preparing for the worst is vital. That’s why we regularly test and roleplay the incident response capability, along with your backups so that, if the worst does happen, you’ll be able to get back up and running swiftly and efficiently.
Ready To Up Your Defenses Against The Ransomware Threat?
Are you concerned about the security of your home or corporate network with the rising ransomware threat? Well, worry no longer! Two River Computer will give you maximum security online.