Top 10 Ways How to Avoid Ransomware
In 2023, global demand for cybersecurity will generate more than $182 billion in revenue. However, experts expect people to keep spending 11% more on cybersecurity annually until 2028. By 2028, experts predict that the cybersecurity industry will rake in more than $314 billion per year.
The bad news is that this industry is growing so fast because cybercrime is becoming more common. The good news is that many intelligent minds are currently working on how to avoid ransomware and other cyber dangers.
As the years go by, businesses must continue learning to defend themselves against the most recent cybercrime innovations. However, we already know a lot about how you can improve your cybersecurity and protect yourself from ransomware attacks.
Read on to learn all about the top ways to avoid ransomware and keep your business data safe!
What Is Ransomware?
So what is ransomware, and why is it such a concern for businesses? There are a lot of different types of ransomware out there. However, they all have in common that they try to capture your essential business data and charge you a ransom to retrieve it.
Ransomware finds its way into a system and then finds the most valuable files it can. It then encrypts those files so that they are impossible to read. Some ransomware will also find any backup files it can and delete them.
Once this is done, the victim will receive a demand for payment. If the victim pays, then they should receive a decryption key that will allow them to re-access their essential files.
These days, more businesses than ever depend completely on their data to operate. Many businesses that suffer a ransomware attack feel they have no choice but to pay out or else shut down.
But there are other options. Learn seven more ways to prevent ransomware attacks below.
1. Use a Firewall for Ransomware Protection
If you want to avoid being a victim of ransomware, you may not need impregnable defenses. Instead, you might get more bang for your buck by making yourself a less desirable target than most other businesses. Sometimes, something as simple as a firewall can provide enough protection that cyber criminals decide to look elsewhere for easier victims.
Make sure to find a quality firewall and keep it updated. That way, it will have the best chance of detecting and blocking ransomware before it ever gets access to your system.
2. Defend Against Ransomware Attacks With Backups
When it comes to ransomware, using backups can be a double-edged sword. If you use them the wrong way, you might think you have protection when you do not. As we have discussed, some ransomware strategies involve finding backup files and deleting them.
On the other hand, done right, almost nothing can protect you as much as having your files backed up. After all, as long as you can still access your files when you need to, you will have no need to pay a ransom when you encrypt your main files.
However, you will need to create backups that will be safe from ransomware attacks.
One powerful way to do this is to use cloud systems. Cloud companies invest huge amounts of money into fantastic cybersecurity. That makes them a much safer place to store your files than using another part of your own system.
On the other hand, you might consider making backups of your files onto hard drives that you leave disconnected from the rest of your system. That way, any ransomware that goes looking for your backups will be unable to access them.
Although this can be somewhat inconvenient, it is important to appreciate how much protection a secure backup system can provide. With backups keeping your files safe, it may not matter as much whether or not ransomware can find a way to access your system.
3. Improve Your Password Practices
When ransomware criminals look for easy targets, they often find businesses that use weak passwords. Some businesses even use default passwords, making it even easier to guess them.
On the other hand, most people now appreciate how important it is to use effective passwords to keep data safe. The bad news is that a lot of people have the wrong idea about what kind of password is the most effective.
Some people and businesses focus on using complicated passwords made out of a random jumble of letters and other symbols. However, these passwords are almost impossible to remember. As a result, people often end up writing them down or reusing them.
Not only does this increase your vulnerability to ransomware, but it provides little in return. Complicated jumbles of letters are not more difficult for brute force systems to guess than more memorable passwords.
On the other hand, you can enjoy easy-to-memorize passwords while also providing better protection. The key is to focus on the length rather than complexity.
At first, it might seem that using long passwords will make them more difficult to remember. However, a simple phrase like "renovatingthegarage" is longer than most passwords and also much easier to remember.
4. Teach Everyone About Cybersecurity Practices
Of course, you will only get the proper protection from your password protocols if you make sure that everyone at your business understands them. In a company, one person who does not follow cybersecurity practices can create a vulnerability that ruins everybody else's attempts to stay safe. That means that cybersecurity is a team effort.
You might want to schedule meetings with your business leaders and employees to make sure that everyone understands how to follow your cybersecurity protocols. You might want to roll out your cybersecurity practice improvements over time.
You can start by teaching employees about strong passwords and then move on to other protocols later. In the long run, you may enjoy better compliance and safety by teaching people a little at a time rather than giving them a long list of new tasks all at once.
5. Update Your Software Tools
One of the most important other things you will need to teach your employees and leaders is the value of updating your business software tools. In principle, any software tool you use can be vulnerable to ransomware. The good news is that the creators of software tools also create protections in them to prevent ransomware.
However, as months and years go by, ransomware tactics change, and software tools need new protections. That is one of the big reasons software tools need updating so often.
And say you don't make sure to keep all of your business software tools updated. In that case, they will not have the most recent cybersecurity protections.
6. Test Your Cyber Attack Defenses
Some businesses invest a huge amount in a long list of cybersecurity defenses. However, they still do not feel at ease because they don't know how their defenses will fare against an actual attack. In some cases, the best way to assess your cybersecurity defenses is to test them.
Consider hiring a service to perform a mock attack on your system and see if it can breach your defenses or not. If it turns out that your system has certain vulnerabilities, you can update them and then test your defenses again.
Iterating on this process, you can shore up your weak points and achieve better protection against ransomware. You can also discover which parts of your system are strong. That can end up saving you money if you are inclined to strengthen parts of your defenses that may not need strengthening.
7. Learn About Different Types of Ransomware
Although these tips can go a long way toward helping you stay safe against ransomware, it is important to appreciate how fast the digital world is evolving. The tips that provide you with protection today may not be able to protect you a few months or years into the future. If you want to stay safe against ransomware, you will want to keep learning about new kinds of ransomware as they become prevalent.
8. Create a Whitelist of Applications
Some companies have bad experiences with certain applications, which they avoid in the future. However, learning from trial and error can be expensive.
It might be wiser to create an explicit whitelist of safe applications that company leaders and employees can use. Everyone can then avoid other applications that come with greater risks.
9. Be Careful With Access Privileges
Every user access privilege is a potential security vulnerability. There is no need to grant broad user access privileges to everyone who needs access to your system. Instead, take the time to figure out which level of access privilege makes sense for each person who uses your system.
10. Avoid Corrupted Websites
Many companies receive ransomware because employees or business leaders click on links to websites they are not familiar with. Consider teaching everyone at your business about the importance of avoiding unverified websites.
Know How to Avoid Ransomware
As the years go by and technology progresses, cybersecurity is becoming more important for businesses than ever before. Still, the more you know how to avoid ransomware, the better you can weather the increasing prevalence of cybercrime. Following the steps in this article can help make you a much less desirable target for potential cyber criminals.
To learn more about how you can find the best help with your cybersecurity needs, get in touch with SecPoint. We are experts in the best cyber security solutions for ultimate peace of mind.