Ransomware Prevention: 7 Ways Businesses Can Do

ransomware prevention

If you’re not concerned about improving cybersecurity at your company, you should be. After all, ransomware attacks are becoming more common, having increased by 62% from 2019 to 2020 worldwide and 158% across North America. 

The result of this increase in ransomware attacks was $29.1 million in damage in 2020 alone. To avoid this kind of unnecessary expense, businesses need help to create ransomware prevention plans. The right IT service provider is able to set up the best defenses for your company’s unique needs.

Here are seven ways you or your managed services provider can boost cybersecurity at your company.

1. Keep Software Up-to-Date

Letting old, outdated software stick around on your company’s computers can leave them wide open to ransomware attacks. Most software companies, such as Microsoft, regularly release updates you need to apply, as they often come with security patches to protect against the latest cyber threats. 

If you don’t have a dedicated IT team that can update your software, you can leave this task to a managed services provider that will do it regularly.

2. Conduct Cybersecurity Awareness Training for All Employees

One of the simplest ways to carry out ransomware prevention is by training all employees to spot and avoid cyber threats. After all, about 90% of cyberattacks are due to human error in the office. This is especially the case in phishing attacks, where employees open emails with links or attachments that are infected with viruses. 

Fortunately, employees can be trained to identify and report attempted attacks. You can usually access employee training through a local managed services provider, who can give specific training tailored to your industry and the type of information they handle on a daily basis.

3. Practice Password Security

Another way employees can help with ransomware prevention is by creating strong passwords. Make sure passwords they come up with are long, with at least eight characters that include letters, symbols, and numbers. Employees should also update their passwords every 90 days.

Two-factor and multi-factor password authentication can significantly improve password security, as access to data is restricted until a person’s identity is verified on another device.

4. Back Up Important Information

The worst part of ransomware attacks is the fear that you may permanently lose valuable data. But if you’ve backed up important information, you won’t have to worry about this threat.

You should keep in mind the 3-2-1 backup rule. This means you should keep three copies of any essential file and keep backups in two different types of media. Finally, keep at least one copy of the file offsite.

5. Verify All Communication That Seems Suspicious

If you get an email from someone who claims to know you, but the email address isn’t familiar, be aware that this may be an attempt at a cybersecurity attack. This is especially the case if the email is requesting sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, or bank account information. If you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, contact the person the email is supposedly from by phone and verify. 

If you get a request to download a file or click a link, verify that it’s from the company or person it claims to be from. Cybercriminals will often use email addresses that look extremely similar to the company that they are pretending to be, so take a second (or third) look at the email address before deciding that the email is trustworthy.

6. Restrict Who Has Access to Confidential Data

One of the easiest ways to practice ransomware prevention is to limit the number of people who have sensitive data. The more people who have private information, the higher the chances someone could fall for a phishing attack

When employees only have access to the information they need to do their job, the likelihood of data falling into the wrong hands gets smaller. It’s also much easier to keep track of who has access to which documents, and in the case of a data breach it will make it much easier to find the leak.

7. Create a BYOD Policy

About 59% of companies allow employees to use their own devices at work. While this is convenient, it can also be a security risk since personal devices are often susceptible to cybersecurity threats. This is why you should create a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy that outlines what kind of security features employees’ devices need.

Let Syzygy 3 Keep Your Data Safe

If you don’t have the technical knowledge to take these ransomware prevention steps, hire a managed services provider that can help expand your technological horizons. Syzygy 3 provides expert IT service professionals to help your organization find the perfect cybersecurity solution.

Contact Syzygy 3 today to learn how we can help.