What is Ransomware?
You’ve heard about it on the news. You’ve seen it cause companies, cities, hospitals, banks and schools to crumble. What exactly is it? Simply put, ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that enables criminals to lock crucial computer systems or data and demand a sum of money for their return. Once they have encrypted the data, the extortion commences. You can pay the ransom with the hope of getting the data back (the FBI advises against this). Or, bring in experts to remove the infection and hopefully recover the files from backups. Ransomware commonly finds its way into computer systems via phishing emails or infected websites, making just about every industry and organization a viable target.
Who is Most Vulnerable to a Ransomware Attack?
There’s a reason for the widespread interest in ransomware defense. Ransomware doesn’t discriminate; from Fortune 100 companies to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), organizations of all magnitudes are susceptible to an attack. The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report showed malware incidents and breaches in just about every industry. The most reported incidents were in the Manufacturing, Public, Accommodation / Food Services, Professional Services, Education and Information industries respectively.
How Can You Improve Ransomware Resilience?
Fortunately, you can prevent a ransomware from ever entering your system by implementing common cyber security best practices. By understanding the most common attack vectors used by cybercriminals, you can effectively strengthen your security posture and reduce the risk of a breach.
Human error continues to be the biggest threat to security of an organization. Phishing, which involves disguising oneself in order to obtain fraudulent information or deliver malicious files, remains the most common technique used by cybercriminals to initiate a ransomware attack. The good news is, with some specific network controls in place, as well as cyber security training for employees and multi-factor authentication practices, most ransomware attacks can be prevented.
To be clear, ransomware resilience goes beyond prevention. For an organization to be resilient to ransomware, it must also be ready to respond to and recover from a ransomware attack if one should ever succeed. This crucial pre-planning exercise will pay dividends by reducing recovery times, eliminating the temptation to pay ransoms, improving the likelihood of ransomware data recovery, and minimizing the potential damage caused by the attack.
GMI's Ransomware Protection Service
We’ve helped organizations of all sizes become ransomware resilient. Guided by established best practices, this consultation focuses exclusively on ransomware prevention and recovery, efficiently assessing your strengths and weaknesses. Our experts forgo extensive (and time consuming) discovery and documentation to quickly deliver what matters most — prescriptive guidance to decrease your likelihood of a ransomware victimization.
If you haven’t recently been professionally assessed and are concerned about ransomware, this will help you sleep at night. A partnership with GMI brings highly-sought technical expertise, industry experience, and a myriad of tools to the forefront of your organization’s defenses. You don’t have to go it alone.