What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that when it lodges itself in a system, usually uses features built into the operating system of companies or organizations in order to access and encrypt files. Ransomware uses encryption algorithms that make it impossible to recover user data and information without a decryption key.
A successful ransomware attack can result in huge losses for a company or organization. Since, in the event of an attack, the only options are to pay the ransom demanded - this option is totally inadvisable as it does not guarantee data recovery - or to give up the stolen data completely, it is essential to be aware of some good practices to avoid, minimize exposure, and minimize the impacts of this type of cyber attack.
Backing up data
Regularly backing up a company or organization's data and information is a great method to mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack. Through a secure and robust backup solution with regular updates, data lost due to the attack becomes minimal or non-existent as it is stored elsewhere such as in a cloud and/or on an external hard drive.
Thus, performing backups does not prevent ransomware attacks from occurring, but allows you to protect data and information in a way that mitigates risk and dependency on the attackers. With valid backups, businesses and organizations can simply restore computers and devices and reinstall the backed up files.
Regular updates to programs and operating systems can help protect against malware. When performing updates, it is important to obtain the latest security patches to make it more difficult for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the programs and systems of businesses and organizations.
Multi-factor or two-factor authentication
The use of stolen credentials is one of the most common methods used in successful attacks and once access credentials are obtained, unauthorized access becomes possible to e.g. email accounts, ERP systems, CRM, VPN or RDP access intrusions that imply potential losses to companies and organizations. Even through the implementation of the best password policies, there is always an adjacent risk of being discovered.
Therefore 2FA - multifactor or two-factor authentication - is a method that significantly strengthens security with regard to identity verification.
By providing an extra layer of security through the various forms of authentication verification, it substantially reduces the possibility of identity spoofing by hackers.
Ransomware attacks are a constantly evolving threat, causing significant damage and expense to different businesses. Businesses and organizations must be informed and prepared in order to prevent, detect, respond effectively and have the ability to recover from this type of attack.