There has been an increase in ransomware attacks in recent years. Cybercriminals continue to invent new ways to gain access to unprotected data on the internet. In this article, we’re going to discuss 5 ways to help protect your network from Ransomware.
Protect Your Network From Ransomware
Hackers attempt to gain access to any network via loopholes that allow data hostage or harvesting. As a result, you should always ensure that your network is secure, as these attacks can happen to any business, large or small.
Ransomware attacks home users, businesses, and government networks, causing temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, disruption to regular operations, financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and potential harm to an organization’s reputation.
One method is to use cloud services from managed IT service providers (MSPs). Working with MSPs gives your company access to additional IT security, which keeps your data safe. Aside from using MSP services, it is critical to implement internal measures to reduce the risk of ransomware attacks.
Because ransomware can spread quickly through your network, cybersecurity policies should clearly define standard operating procedures (SOPs) for improved security. Furthermore, the methods listed below can help protect your network from ransomware attacks.
1. Keep all software up to date.
If you work with a managed service provider, you can have most of your software updated on a regular basis. However, for software that is not under MSP’s control, you must ensure that it is regularly updated. These updates are necessary because software providers improve the security of their products as cyber threats evolve. As an end-user, you will receive update notifications and prompts on your devices or network on a regular basis.
In most cases, the updates install the necessary patches that help to protect your network. However, in order to achieve this, you may need to upgrade to a newer version. Both updates and upgrades are critical for keeping your network secure.
Updating and upgrading apply to any mobile application you use. To protect your company from ransomware, your network system administrator should schedule updates for times when the process is less likely to be disrupted.
2. Conduct Cybersecurity Training for Your Employees
When attempting to implement cybersecurity policies, it is critical to educate your team members on the importance of cyber hygiene. Phishing emails are one of the risks that can expose your network. A phishing email, even if it appears to be genuine, can put your network at risk. The team should also be aware of the reporting channels and what steps to take in the event of a phishing email.
Another training topic could be ensuring that the team uses a strong password. Most cybersecurity experts advise using a passphrase rather than a password, such as bfTsd.\3Qr^@CggN. The goal is to use a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, special characters, and numbers. It is critical to warn the team not to use names of places, pets, or dates of birth. Furthermore, the team should not store these passwords on the devices.
Other safeguards for employees include the use of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for account access, the separation of work and personal devices, and the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) for portable work devices. Overall, your team should understand that network security is an individual responsibility with a collective goal. As a result, everyone should take precautions to ensure that their workstations or devices do not serve as entry points for cybercriminals.
3. Always back up your data
When it comes to cyberattacks, it’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but of ‘when.’ As a result, it’s critical to take precautions and regularly back up your data. The majority of managed service providers include cloud backup in their packages. They can be critical in protecting your company’s data. Backup intervals are determined by your operations and data volume. It should, however, be sufficient to prevent critical data loss between schedules.
An onsite backup is also an option. However, after each backup, this should be disconnected from the network. It protects your data in the event that your network becomes infected.
4. Protect Your End-Point Devices
The devices connected to your network can be the main entry points. Some users may visit unsecured websites, click on suspicious links, or connect corrupted external drives. Therefore, it’s key to equip these devices with anti-malware software and firewalls. Apart from the security framework on the network, security on the end-point devices provides an extra layer of protection. The regular updates of the security software should ensure that it stays effective in combating emerging cyber threats.
As a precaution against external drives, your IT team may need to limit access to external storage devices such as flash drives. This precaution must be combined with a policy prohibiting the use of external storage devices on business devices.
5. Conduct Vulnerability Assessments and Regular Monitoring
Once you’ve implemented cybersecurity policies, you must conduct a ransomware vulnerability assessment. This evaluation allows you to determine whether your precautions and steps are adequate or if you need to improve. To complete this exercise successfully, the assessor must understand how ransomware operates.
Furthermore, you should implement a monitoring policy to ensure that your network’s security is not jeopardised. Depending on your operations, monitoring can be done daily or weekly. Both the assessment and monitoring exercises should produce results that allow you to assess your ransomware attack risk.
These five suggestions are a good starting point for both individuals and businesses. As a company that deals with sensitive data on a daily basis, you’re constantly vulnerable to ransomware attacks. However, implementing the methods outlined above can help protect your network from such an attack. Obtaining the assistance of an MSP can also assist you in staying up to date on new cyber threats.