Ransomware attacks have been in existence for many decades, and in the past years, there have been sophisticated creations of more ransomware attacks. Nearly all these debilitating cyber security threats have significant lessons that can be applied in your organization. Here you will see that there are a few ways your businesses can be attacked by ransomware, and there are the best techniques to deal with such attacks to protect your company’s information and reputation.
What Is Ransomware?
Just like its name, Ransomware implies holding the information of a disadvantaged party or making them a hostage until a particular ransom has been paid to the attacker. This attack spreads rapidly across the victim’s device or network and can damage a large scale of sensitive business data.
All file types are not spared during ransomware attacks. It can hit files of virtually any type, including documents, applications, and databases. Nearly all ransomware attacks affect the whole system, thereby crumbling a victimized organization.
The process often involves encryption, as it is an important tool for many current cyber security techniques, to help in protecting the company’s data from non-permitted users. File encrypting will normally produce a pair of keys, and one of such keys is often converted to plain text or decrypted, making it easy to access the file. Ransomware attackers employ this technological strategy to deliberately harm, or block their victim’s from accessing their files.
Like other popular computer viruses, ransomware operates similarly by attempting to gain access to a device, through deceitful tactics like targeted hacks, phishing, stolen documents, and many more. The moment their presence has been created on your business network, they begin to launch attacks by searching through any of the company’s file they want, and they do this alongside encryption.
How Does Ransomware Affect Your Businesses?
1. Damage to Company’s Reputation
A ransomware attack can affect your business greatly by causing interruptions to business progressions, loss of sensitive information, loss of customer data, and a general reflection of poor security activities. All these events can make your company to become less reputable, and trustworthy. The Colonial Pipeline ransomware, which happened in May 2021, involved the southeastern U.S. long lines for gasoline. The ransomware attack caused the company to lose integrity in the face of many of its consumers.
More details from Forbes also show that about 46% of companies pass through severe damage to what they are known for. Their brand and value drop drastically because their cyber security has been compromised. In another report, about 19% of businesses have encountered brand damage and reputational value, due to IT system breakdown or invasion of third-party security compromise.
How do You Prevent Your Company From Reputation Damage?
If you do not want to watch your business crumble before your eyes, you can apply crucial security strategies to stop the influence of ransomware attacks. First, you should try not to be a victim, by protecting your business with ransomware detection devices.
Many businesses are free from attacks as they have used ransomware detection tools, to discover potential ransom notes and other damaging components. Therefore, before ransomware begins to multiply, users can be quickly disabled. Another good way to protect yourself is by choosing a trustworthy cyber security specialist, and a strong IT team. Every organization’s cyber protection is reliable on a firm IT team.
2. Data Exposure
During a ransomware attack, companies suffer sensitive data exposure, which can be a massive loss. According to a current monitoring case of many threat extortion sites, almost 80% of the attack caused by ransomware in the early months of 2021 included cyber security threats of an exfiltrated data leak.
Cybercriminals make use of exposed data, to spur their victims to make ransom payments, as they are often threatened on the counts of having their stolen information published on dark websites, if they fail to pay the ransom. In April 2021, during the ransomware attack on Apple provider Quanta Computer Inc, the attacking group, REvil, made an initial demand of $50 million from the company, and promised to release blueprints of stolen Apple products if they failed to comply.
What Methods Can You Employ to Prevent Data Exposure?
You do not have to wait around and become a victim of ransomware attacks before you take action. One good way to prevent data exposure is to constantly delete and archive duplicated, obsolete, stale, and trivial data in your company’s system. Another best technique you can apply to prevent data exfiltration is by preventing your employees from gaining unauthorized access to certain company data.
When you know the right way to manage your company’s significant and sensitive information, your data will automatically have less potential worth to ransomware attackers. Additionally, you should regularly back up sensitive information, and have them securely stored.
3. Ransomware Paves Way for Future Cyber-Attacks
Ransomware can be a leading cause of more cyber security issues in the future if nothing is done. On September 11, 2021, a ransomware attack was reported by Olympus, a Japanese technology manufacturer. Following the encounter with ransomware, an indefinite attack also happened on its IT network in Latin America, U.S, and Canada in October 2021.
In a similar case, Acer, which is a Taiwanese electronics company, encountered a cyber-attack in October 2021, as a result of a ransomware attack it had faced in March 2021. This shows that cyber-attackers will launch attacks when you are defenseless, or where there has been a history of a ransomware attack on your organization’s IT system. They also use your company’s vulnerabilities to enforce attacks knowing that, you will pay huge amounts when held at ransom.
What Practice Can Stop Future Cyber-Attacks?
You do not have to do too much when trying to prevent the future occurrence of cyber attacks. Make it a consistent habit to improve IT cyber protection, constantly patch software, ensure up-to-date incidence response, and carry out cross-organizational training initiatives on cybersecurity.
The main costs of facing ransomware problems go beyond the amount of money you pay to prevent your company’s security information from being exfiltrated. Many businesses that have experienced ransomware attacks also encountered significant downtime, loss of reputation, customers, and revenue. The good news is that you can prevent cyber security threats from happening.