The Future of Ransomware Attacks
If you’ve been reading the news lately, you’ve probably seen a lot of articles about ransomware attacks causing major business problems—but what are they exactly, and what do they do? Are only large companies susceptible to this cybercrime, or could it happen to anybody?
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts computers or networks, with the promise that, if the affected company (or user) pays the hacker money, its captive files or system will be released. Any individual or company can fall victim to ransomware attacks.
How ransomware works
It used to be that ransomware found its way into otherwise seemingly secure systems mainly due to user error. The user would click a link or open an attachment sent via email, which downloaded ransomware onto the system. While that pathway still works, hackers have discovered they can “live off the land” now by working with tools that already exist within your business’ network environment, instead of attempting to plant files to set off their attack.
When a company gets hit with a ransomware attack, they can choose to pay the hacker’s demand for money. Usually—but not always—the information is released after payment. Some companies refuse to pay and face the consequences of having confidential information released.
In the past, user training and protocols combined with antivirus software could head off many ransomware attacks. Now, as hackers evolve, prevention methods are changing to meet the challenge.
NGAV stands for Next Generation AntiVirus. It’s a cloud-based software that works in a more advanced way than your previous antivirus software, using techniques such as artificial intelligence (AI), behavioral detection, and machine-learning algorithms to surveil your network. These sophisticated practices check for subtler changes showing a hacker is active within your system.
What’s even more valuable is to have real-time alerts for an IT department or company to know when a breach has occurred and to act immediately with preventative measures. Austin IT services company Business Network Consulting (BNC) provides a reputable and top-of-the-line NGAV.
- Pen testing
Penetration testing (also known as pen testing or ethical hacking) is a simulation of a hack on a business’ system. The test breaches the system using the same kinds of methods hackers would ordinarily use, which allows businesses to discover its system’s weaknesses in a controlled environment.
BNC provides a wide variety of IT services in Austin, which includes orchestrating and performing pen tests. Pen testing, in combination with vulnerability assessment, comprises a cybersecurity audit, which will help prevent ransomware attacks (and the subsequent loss of funds or credibility that may follow).
Cybersecurity Insurance helps you manage the risk inherent in using technology. This type of insurance covers losses caused by digital incidents that are unlikely to be covered by other business insurance policies. Often, these policies cover ransom payments.
BNC’s experts can help you determine what kind of policy works best for your type of business, and they can help you balance risk against cost, so you feel secure just in case your business faces a ransomware attack.
- Disaster recovery plans
Despite meticulous precaution, it’s still possible for a business to suffer a loss from a ransomware attack. If something does happen, you want to be able to return to business as usual as quickly as you can.
The best way to ensure that can happen is by investing in a disaster recovery plan. BNC consultants can work with you to create the right kind of plan for the type of business your company does.
Fighting ransomware attacks takes a two-pronged approach: 1) Do what you can to prevent an attack from happening, and 2) Be prepared for the possibility that an attack might still happen despite your best efforts. BNC can work with you directly to cover both angles.