Ransomware: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Organization

Each year, businesses across the country suffer financial losses from ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that allows a criminal to encrypt an individual or organization’s data, making it inaccessible. The criminal can then hold the data hostage until the individual or organization pays them.

A ransomware attack can result in significant costs. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to help protect your organization from such an attack:

Educate employees about how to keep data safe

Everyone makes mistakes. Links in confusing emails get clicked and questionable websites get visited in negligence or in simple error. Human error is impossible to avoid, but when it comes to protecting against ransomware, reducing mistakes as much as possible is crucial.

Incorporate ransomware education into your organization’s malware training sessions. This will help decrease the occurrence of mistakes that could put your organization at risk. It will also help your staff stay abreast of current cyber safety protocols.

Use strong passwords

This simple rule of thumb can make or break an organization’s ability to fend off cyber attacks. Make sure everyone in your organization understands the importance of using strong passwords. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, passwords should be at least 8 characters long and contain special characters. Previously used passwords and common passwords should be avoided.

Utilize multi-factor authentication

With multi-factor authentication, a password alone is not enough to grant a user access to your systems. A user might have to use their fingerprint or an emailed key to gain access, or they might answer a personalized question. This extra layer of defense could deter a criminal from targeting your organization.

Keep software updated

Cybercriminals often take advantage of software vulnerabilities. Software companies work hard to patch such vulnerabilities, which is why it’s important to make sure your software is up to date with the most recent patches.

Back up data

Data should be backed up regularly. Make it a priority to back up important data and critical systems as frequently as possible. Make sure the backup location is either offline or in the cloud so that it is safe in the event of a ransomware attack.

Consider using whitelists

Whitelisting technology blocks unapproved software from uploading into your organization’s systems. This prevents ransomware and other malware from being installed on your devices. Many businesses invest in whitelisting technologies to protect their data.

Have a plan in place

Be prepared to respond rapidly if a ransomware attack is detected. Have a team ready to address the attack and quickly isolate compromised devices.

Invest in high-quality cyber liability insurance

Unfortunately, there is no one silver bullet that can guarantee complete safety from a ransomware attack. That doesn’t mean that your organization has to be at risk. SIA Insurance Group offers excellent cyber liability insurance to protect our clients from losses associated with ransomware and other malware attacks. Contact us today to learn about our 360 Insurance System and how it can help keep your organization safe and secure.



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