August 02, 2021 3 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

By Tom Wilde

By Sam Ancer

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware that infects your computer through various means. Once your computer is infected the ransomware will attempt to encrypt files on your computer. Some ransomware can even make the entire computer unusable. The ransomers will then contact the computer user and ask them to make a payment, usually through cryptocurrencies, before providing a means of decryption. 

If payment is not made the user can lose files completely or have their device permanently disabled. While most businesses do not pay the ransom, those that do more than make up the difference. Ransomware in the United Kingdom will cost a business on average around $170 000. Only 8 percent of UK businesses in 2020 received their full information after complying with ransomware. Ransomware is only becoming more prevalent and profitable, which means it is becoming increasingly critical to ensure your business is as safe as it can be.

3 Tips to Protect Your Business From Ransomware

In order to protect your business from the risks of ransomware, AES has provided you with some easy-to-follow tips, whose principles should help you avoid as much risk as possible in regards to ransomware.

Tip 1: Keep a backup.

The way ransomware functions is by holding critical files or systems hostage and forcing businesses to make the payment if they want to get their information back. One reliable way businesses have been dealing with ransomware is by keeping consistent backups of systems and files. This way if anything is caught in an encryption your team can just wipe it and reupload the previously existing system. 

This will cost money to maintain and ensure the process happens correctly, but it could save your business hundreds of thousands of dollars potentially. It is also important to make sure that there are redundancies so that if one backup is also compromised you are still able to use another backup. 

Tip 2: Educate your team.

When it comes to ransomware you are only as protected as your least informed team member. To ensure that your company is protected to the best degree, make sure that you educate your teams on the dangers of ransomware and the most common ways it can infect your computer. Talk to them about online phishing, and how, while most email platforms have done an exceptional job of filtering spam, social media platforms like Facebook, have become the new domain of the online ransomer

Make sure your employees do not access suspicious-looking files or open message requests from people they do not know. It does not require much access for ransomware to access a device and infect an entire system. So employee training in regards to phishing is an important step in protecting your business against the dangers of ransomware.

Tip 3: Invest in Security

While there’s not much you can do to protect yourself from targeted hacking and malware, ransomware usually casts a wide net and does not invest itself in specifying targets all that much. This is usually because the people enacting the scams are usually not the people who create the malware in the first place. 

Quite often ransomware is offered as a service by the creators who then sell it to scammers who use the malware to hold victims' devices and systems hostage. This means that antivirus software and other security systems will be able to help you. Make sure your team keeps their software up to date so that there is a smaller chance of being caught out by ransomware. Of course, security systems are never going to be completely up to date with the latest malware but they can provide enough risk mitigation to make the difference. Beyond that, the cost of antivirus software licenses is far smaller than the damage a malware like ransomware could cause. BitDefender and Avast offer effective services with competitive prices.

3 Tips to Protect Your Business from Ransomware

Ransomware is just another cost of doing business within the digital age, but remember, while it may seem hopeless to fight against it, your business has plenty of options to protect itself from the dangers. Make sure you keep up to date with the latest ransomware trends as information can be the best tool for defence in these instances.