Cybercrime is big business, and your business is the target. We’ve talked before about phishing, but another form of cybercrime on the rise is ransomware. If cybercriminals get access to your system, the hackers can apply complex encryption to all your business data, and lock you out of your own files until you pay them a ransom.
According to some recent research, 64% of businesses in Australia last year suffered a ransomware attack. A more worrying statistic reports that while just over half of these paid the ransom, about a quarter of them did not, even then, get their data back. The government recommends that ransoms not be paid, but a far better approach from a business point of view is to take sensible precautions against an attack.
What do you stand to lose?
As well as sustaining heavy financial losses, whether you pay the ransom or not, you’ll lose a lot of time sorting out the mess – and maybe some clients, too. If news gets around that you’ve been the victim of ransomware, your reputation will suffer, with clients losing confidence in the security of their sensitive data. Employees may well also experience a loss of confidence, and company performance will be impacted.
Many small businesses still aren’t prepared for cyber attacks, and don’t know how to prevent – or respond to – cybercrime. Here are a few of the things you can do.
Technology has plenty of inherent risks, but one of the greatest is the people who use it. It’s so easy to click on the wrong link, and your team, including you, need to be able to spot those right away. One of your best preventative measures is therefore regular training in cybersecurity awareness.
Make sure your team is aware of the risks, and get them constantly on the lookout for potential scams. You can also teach them about Remote Desktop Protocols (RDP) or Connections (RDC), which enable one computer to link to another and so gain access to your system. You can learn what a potential ransomware attack looks like and how to increase your online safety.
Backing up your data is vital, and you should do it immediately and constantly with a daily automated backup. In the event of cyber attack, accidental loss or damage, you’ll have a copy of your Business Critical Data to fall back on. Ideally, you’ll have both an on-premises backup and a remote one, but you need to ensure that they’re working properly – again, every day. This verification process ensures that your backups are current and functional, so you can recover your data quickly.
3. Sensible protection
You can increase your levels of protection with these common tools:
- Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to provide a more secure connection
- Encrypt your devices
- Use a password manager to generate random passwords
- Multi-factor authentication (MFA) – you’ve probably already encountered this with online banking or other sensitive transactions
If you need help with these basic security provisions, Perigon One is happy to help. We can also work with you as your IT partner to provide more advanced security recommendations, according to your specific circumstances.