5 Tips to Help Businesses Limit Damage from Ransomware Attacks

Hackers are shamelessly using the context of the health crisis to achieve their ends. Being more vulnerable due to the accelerated introduction of remote working, companies and their data are more than ever the targets of ransomware attacks. Ransom demands often run into the millions of dollars, not to mention the cost of repairing infrastructure – devices usually need to be cleaned and replaced. Therefore, companies must do their utmost to avoid being confronted with this situation. Since zero risk does not exist, companies who want to maintain the trust of their customers must prepare for a possible attack so that they can be able to restore data if necessary. By implementing and regularly testing recovery processes, companies can easily recover data without having to pay the ransom.

To help companies protect themselves, here are 5 tips to put in place.

  1. Identify and Classify Data

Businesses need to know their IT infrastructure (on-premises, cloud, multi-cloud) and have full visibility. They need to know what types of data they have, how they relate to each other, where and how long they are stored, and how to access it. This information can be used to identify vulnerabilities faster and, therefore, potential entry points for hackers. To obtain this overview, it is recommended to use an independent platform specializing in centralized data management. This should be suitable for use in hybrid environments and integrate as many data sources and technologies as possible to protect the infrastructure, detect attacks, and restore data. Classification functions are also important for risk assessment.

  1. Create Regular Backups

To be able to recover data, organizations must back up data, especially when it is critical, on a highly scalable backup platform that also offers automated recovery mechanisms.

One thing is for sure: businesses need to be prepared and have a clear contingency plan in place before they’ve even suffered a single attack. If the data is backed up reliably, recovery will not be a problem. The “3-2-1 rule,” which provides best practices for safeguarding, is well known to businesses. Each company should have three copies of its data: two of them on different storage media and one offline to avoid loss.

  1. Detect Attacks and React to Them Appropriately

Security solutions are essential, especially when they can identify attacks at the first weak signals. To be able to react quickly, IT managers need to be alert to the hallmarks of an attack – such as a sudden drop in network performance or an increase in spam. A sudden increase in the amount of data is, for example, typical of a ransomware attack. Anyone who recognizes such signals can immediately implement countermeasures, such as access blocking, automatic failover of critical services, and disaster recovery measures.

  1. Identify Damaged Data

Once the attack is detected and repelled, duplicating backups and storing them in an offline environment ensures file integrity is respected during recovery. Accurately determining the extent of an attack and what data has been damaged is critical. First, because it will restore files more efficiently, but also because these elements will be necessary for audits. In such cases, hiring a professional cybersecurity firm for ransomware removal is the best solution. 

  1. Regularly Train Your Employees

IT tools make it possible to make the servers operational again quickly. But one security risk is employee behavior. One person’s mistake is enough to endanger the entire system. This is why companies must educate their employees on safety and organize regular training sessions to familiarize them with good practices.

Businesses should use malware solutions as the first line of defense and backup as a fallback. Indeed, even when technical countermeasures fail to stop the attack, damaged data can be restored from backups. 

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