It is almost impossible to read the news lately without seeing an article about Ransomware or another malware threat wreaking havoc in businesses, hospitals, banks or schools.
By some estimates, 2016 saw a 300% increase in the number Ransomware attacks with an average of 4,000 infections a day. In addition, a recent survey by Osterman Research found that almost 47% of businesses have been infected with Ransomware within the prior 12-month period. All of these numbers are expected to increase exponentially in 2017. The FBI confirms the skyrocketing problem of ransomware, but suggests relying on prevention rather than paying ransom to the criminals.
A Digital Epidemic
Ransomware is on pace to become a $1 billion per year industry. According to some industry watchers, the core issue with ransomware today is the general lack of strong security practices. Ransomware is a type of malware that either encrypts a user’s files or completely locks them out of a computer. The only way to regain access to the files or computer is to pay a ransom to the hacker.
An Evolving Threat
This year, things appear likely to get much worse before they get better. Not only are more sophisticated strains of ransomware being discovered, in some cases part of the ransom being demanded is for victims to further spread the message that was originally used to deliver the ransomware.
Rely on Synetra for Prevention
Synetra’s security team recommends six essential steps to help you avoid becoming a victim and having to pay a ransom:
- Maintain a comprehensive and up-to-date inventory of all your digital assets.
You cannot defend what you don’t know. A Synetra network assessment is a great way to help identify those assets as it will provide a detailed listing of all devices discovered on your LAN or WAN.
- Make sure that you have implemented proper access control and segregation.
Proper access control and segregation can prevent a domino effect triggered by a single compromised device. A Synetra security audit can help identify permissions across your Active Directory environment allowing you to quickly remediate “overreaching” permissions.
- Implement continuous monitoring of your physical and virtual IT infrastructure.
Synetra’s Managed Services provides a variety of patching services and monitoring solutions that can be tailored to your environment to help you maintain continuous monitoring of your IT infrastructure, software and security patches, as well as of new threats and malware targeting your industry.
- Create and regularly test a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP).
A regularly tested DRP will allow you to mitigate loss of any critical data in a reasonable timeframe, and at a cost compatible with your corporate risk appetite. Our team can work with you by providing some guidance for those who have not created a DRP and aren’t sure where to begin.
- Invest in security training and awareness programs.
Such programs are invaluable because they educate your employees, key suppliers and partners. Your Synetra partner can recommend some comprehensive programs to assist with this training.
- Verify your approach.
Synetra will assist you in verifying that your approach to cybersecurity and risk management is based on common sense principles that are shared and supported at all levels of your organization.
The Synetra Team on the Ransomware Frontline
Follow these six guidelines and ensure that your business is prepared to evolve its security and withstand the risk of Ransomware.
If you would like more information about Ransomware and how Synetra can help your business avoid becoming a victim, please contact us today.