Despite the number of ransomware attacks and enormous financial losses in the news throughout the past year, many organizations continue to believe they will not fall victim to such an event. Small
businesses, especially, mistakenly believe they are unlikely targets and do not prepare or plan accordingly.
The reality is small businesses are increasingly targeted by ransomware attacks. For example, in December 2021 the 157-year-old Lincoln College in Illinois closed permanently after they were devastated by a ransomware attack.
Ransomware Hackers Target People & Backups
Ransomware hackers understand that most businesses use at least basic backup services – in fact, they count on it. Hackers today specifically target backup systems before starting the attack, looking to remove backups or infect them as well.
How do hackers breach so many systems? They target people. Social engineering remains the most frequent vector for data breach incidents. Other approaches include retrieving the passwords stored in a plain text file on an admin’s machine and gaining access by brute force password breaking. Small businesses rarely include security awareness for their teams, leaving them especially vulnerable to these attacks.
How Do Small Businesses Prevent Ransomware?
To combat the growing ransomware threats, small businesses must continuously update their cybersecurity tools, conduct employee training, and test contingency plans to ensure they are ready when disaster strikes. The best solution is a defense plan for your business-critical data, using these guidelines:
Phishing, the attempt to entice employees to reveal sensitive information using emails or other methods is the attack of choice for most ransomware hackers. Educate and remind your personnel on how to identify Phishing emails.
Password managers are tools that store your passwords in an encrypted and safe system. This allows users to use more complex passwords and ensures they use different passwords for each system.
Use only proven applications to avoid a data breach.
Role-Based User Management:
Ensuring that fewer people have access to the machines, data or applications limits the access available for a hacker if they do compromise a single system.
Two-Factor Authentication (2FA):
2FA is an effective approach to keeping attackers away from your web resources because a single password is not enough to gain access.
Single Sign-On (SSO):
Businesses that require many different applications cannot fully control the way their employees store passwords on their computers. In this case, having each user remember only one password works much better. Single sign-on enhances security and saves time for IT and users alike by streamlining the access process for multiple systems.
Use tools to detect changes in your systems that indicate possible hacking attempts. The earlier the intrusion is detected, the easier it is to contain.
Hackers specifically target basic cloud backup systems to hold both your live data and backups hostage. Many businesses assume backups are safe, but this is not the case.
The Gold Standard: Immutable Cloud Backups
As hackers specifically target basic backup systems, immutable cloud backups provide the ultimate protection. Immutable cloud backups ensure that your data is encrypted and stored in a protected state in the cloud, secure from ransomware attacks. Even if a hacker deletes your data and backups, your immutable cloud backups remain secure. Should hackers gain access to your backup console, they will be unable to access, encrypt or delete your immutable cloud backup.
Information provided by Infrascale