Ransomware: The Threat Carries On

Well into 2018, ransomware continues to be a growing threat to companies large and small. With its ease of distribution and infection on laptops and mobile devices, ransomware attacks have never been easier for cyber criminals to deploy because they no longer need technical skills or a lot of money to pull off their schemes. Usually distributed through email, ransomware is also profitable, so as long that fact holds true, hackers will continue to use it for ill-gotten gains.

The damage and disruption of a ransomware attack can bring loss of services, records and productivity to an organization. With the average cost of an attack now topping $5 million, system downtime and lost productivity account for over half of the cost.

According to a recent article by Barkly, security is getting more expensive and difficult to manage. In addition to reporting a significant rise in the new types of attacks they're seeing, organizations also report struggling to keep the cost and complexity of managing security down.

"Only a third of organizations believe they have adequate

resources to manage security effectively." Ponemon Institute

It's true, managing security is a 24/7 endeavor and hiring an in-house team of security experts can be costly and time-consuming. As an increasingly desirable option, hiring a managed service provider (MSP) to partner with internal staff, or as a fully outsourced team, offers resources that are up-to-date with the latest security knowledge and trends. Additionally, the cost of outsourcing security to an MSP is significantly less than the costs of setting up, recruiting and managing an internal security team.

So how do organizations avoid a ransomware attack?

Be proactive and prepared for an attack.

Top 3 Ways to Avoid Ransomware

  • Educate: Have an employee training plan and control your data by educating users to practice safe internet usage.

  • Secure: Use firewalls, web filtering, spam filtering, antivirus and patch management services. Control user access by only giving access to those who need it to perform their jobs. Encrypt sensitive data so that if it's stolen, it can't be used.

  • Backup: Ransomware cannot be effective if regular backups are kept. Avoid critical data loss, downtime, and paying ransom by backing up your data.

In the end, if a breach happens: have a plan in place to stop it. Develop a recovery plan before the attack happens and practice exercises with key staff regularly.

In the world of security, it's an ever-changing landscape. Find out how ProActive Information Management can help you stay one step ahead of attacks. Get strong network protection with FITS - a complete, turnkey IT management solution to handle virtually all of your business technology needs. Learn more by visiting www.proactive-info.com/fits.

#ransomware #cybercrime #systemdowntime #lostproductivity #managedservices #employeetraining #security #backup

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