MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Single Greatest Defense Against Ransomware

The Single Greatest Defense Against Ransomware

In 2017, ransomware became a huge threat for businesses, so when discussing how nefarious actors will be leveraging new ransomware streams in 2018, you have to do so with some urgency. Today we will provide some information on ransomware, the current trends, and some trends you have to be very mindful of going forward.

Ransomware
Ransomware, in many ways is the most honest of malware. Once it sets up shop on your network or device, you are given an option: pay or else. With the number of devices with Internet connectivity growing quickly; and, the amount every business seems to be relying on these devices, it presents plenty of opportunities for threat actors, like those that disseminate ransomware, to do so.

Despite the nature of ransomware to infiltrate and take over your network, if you don’t let the ransomware bug in, you won’t ever have to deal with it. That is why proactive measures are vital to an organization’s anti-ransomware policies. Your staff will have to shoulder a lot of the responsibility of keeping malware out of your businesses network, which is why training them to look for suspicious variables in the emails they receive is key. In 2018, the best defense against ransomware is awareness.

How to Promote Organizational Cybersecurity Awareness
First you will want to ascertain if your business is in an industry that will be more apt to be targeted by hackers and their ransomware. If you hold a great deal of sensitive data, or are heavily reliant on your information systems, your business is a popular choice to be a victim of ransomware. Industries like healthcare, education, government, finance, and utilities (all known for having individual personal and financial information) get the most ransomware attacks, but other businesses have been known to fall victim as well.

Even with the increase in ransomware attacks, and the new and different features each strain has, the main reason your organization would be hit with a ransomware attack is because it was directed at an organization that could provide a nice return for the hackers involved. From 2016-2017 there was nearly a 74 percent increase in the types of ransomware, but saw those strains used on many less businesses than in the past.

Ransomware is also a competition. Since the advent of the ransomware malware, cybersecurity has changed. Today anyone who chooses to go down that route can purchase a ransomware-as-a-service model that provides developers financial gain and give less-than-expert hackers a tool in which to bring wholesale destruction to their enemy’s computing networks.

For the IT administrator, there are a lot of potential problems. Doing what you can to ensure that your organization’s staff is trained on industry best practices, that your network is outfitted with a powerful security platform, and that it is constantly monitored and frequently maintained, is the only way that you can ward off a potential ransomware attack.

For those companies who are looking for a comprehensive network and cybersecurity platform, or that is interested in backing up their data to ensure that any malware won’t take their business down with them, call the IT professionals at MERIT Solutions today at (757) 420-5150.

 

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Friday, July 20 2018

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