Ransomware continues to be a significant threat for many organizations around the world. This type of cyberattack involves the use of malicious software or “malware” to access an individual or organization’s files without authorization.
A cybercriminal who performs a ransomware attack then generally blocks access to the data contained on the files via encryption and demands the victim pay a “ransom,” similar to kidnappings, to restore access. Only the attacker has the key to decrypt the information. Ransomware attacks are especially harmful if they target sensitive data such as addresses and credit card numbers.
According to Statista, there were 304 million ransomware attacks worldwide in 2020. Additionally, researcher and publisher Cybersecurity Ventures recently predicted that global ransomware costs will reach $20 billion by 2021, a substantial increase over the $11.5 billion in estimated damages this type of cyberattack created in 2019.
Today, many attackers demand their victims pay them in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin. Fortunately, managed service providers (MSPs) can help organizations— especially small businesses with few resources or training—prevent ransomware attacks from occurring.
Steps To Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Most managed service providers use a three-tiered approach to help companies shield themselves from cyberattacks. Although these precautions don’t guarantee that an organization will never fall victim to an attack on its data, they significantly minimize the likelihood of this risk. Here is how a MSP helps protect you against ransomware.
Introduce Employee Training
If your employees are not properly informed about ransomware, these types of attacks are likely to severely impact your organization. Therefore, it’s critical to implement cybersecurity awareness training programs to teach your staff how to identify ransomware and how to combat it efficiently.
Given that some ransomware attacks take the form of phishing scams, it’s also important to introduce and emphasize email safety policies. A MSP facilitates this by helping you introduce penetration testing and by encouraging your employees to stay informed about news and trends related to ransomware.
Recommend Security Software
Once your employees have been extensively trained in ransomware prevention, the following steps a MSP will typically take is to recommend software-based security solutions. These include anti-spam and antivirus software. Anti-spam involves placing a filter between your organization’s email servers and the Internet, while antivirus software helps block worms and viruses.
According to software company AppRiver, 83% of the 27.2 billion emails sent annually contain malware or viruses, or are spam. Additionally, over 13,500 malicious web pages are discovered each day.
Data Backups & Recovery Solutions
The best way to prevent and recover from a ransomware attack is to backup your data. Should a cybercriminal manage to begin encrypting your files, you may combat this by performing an online backup. An experienced MSP assists you to regain access to your data efficiently and should advise you against paying the ransom demanded by the attacker, as this may create a vicious circle where other organizations also pay the criminal and this attacker becomes richer.
Furthermore, paying the ransom may not guarantee that your data will be restored. According to ransomware recovery experts Coveware, the average ransom demanded by cybercriminals rose to $84,116 during the fourth quarter of 2019, a 104% increase relative to the previous quarter.
Additionally, certain information protection solutions let users run applications by implementing image-based versions of virtual machines. This is known as “instant recovery” or “recovery-in-place.” This type of solution is beneficial because it helps reduce downtime. An experienced MSP also will advise you to immediately report a ransomware attack to the authorities. These may be to a local police department or a government agency such as the FBI.
Get High-Quality Ransomware Protection From TCB
Contact the experts at TCB 24×7 Expert Network IT Support for more information on how to protect yourself against ransomware. We’re a MSP that since 1993 has been dedicated to providing efficient, flexible and customized IT solutions to many different types of organizations (startups, SMEs, large enterprises, etc.) throughout Northern Virginia.
Our data backup and disaster recovery services are designed to help ensure your business’s files are protected from ransomware and to assist you with the rebuilding process following such an attack. We offer both on-site and off-site remote data backups, which are encrypted and compressed for optimized space.
We also provide spam filtering services to protect you from ransomware, spear-phishing, fraudulent cyberattacks and other email scams. This service is designed to filter both emails leaving and entering your network and to protect your servers as well. Call TCB today at (703) 783-2781 or contact us online to request a consultation or to learn more about our ransomware protection services.