Almost every company with a digital presence will be aware of ransomware. Hackers sneaking into your network to harvest sensitive data and sell it to organised criminals sounds like something cooked up by Hollywood, but we all know that it happens. When it comes to security, awareness is everything, so here’s what you need to know.
What Does Ransomware Look Like In 2021?
Ransomware is a type of cyber-attack that cripples an organisation until the ransom demands are met. These are usually financial, with the average figure for an SME being around £500 - £750 per attack, but sometimes as high as £250,000 or more. Digital criminals can operate from anywhere in the world and are protected by the laws of their resident countries. As such, groups interested in ransom activities are highly organised, highly paid, and highly prolific.
What Makes My System Vulnerable To a Ransomware Attack?
The average digital device has a host of entrance points for hackers. For instance, software that hasn’t been updated properly or an employee accessing the network from an unsecured device can leave glaring security gaps. A sophisticated attack will give the criminals complete control of your system, a situation that can only be solved by destroying the network and creating a new one.
How Can a Ransomware Attack Harm My Company?
The first outcome of a ransomware incident is interruption to the business, which directly affects both PR and productivity. When the system is taken down nobody can do anything, so orders and payroll are crippled. This usually takes around two weeks and a lot of cost to resolve, so can be highly disabling. Once harvested, the personal data of you, your staff, and your customers is sold on the Dark Web, at which point your company is held legally responsible. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSN) will become involved, and fines will be assigned. The resulting headaches are so profound that around 20% of SMEs that experience a ransomware attack will be forced into liquidation.
What Can I Do To Keep My Company Safe?
There are lots of strategies that can be used to keep your organisation safe. However, doing so is typically a full-time job. Firstly, all software needs to be completely integrated, including legacy software and associated patches, and this needs to be kept up to date. Secondly, data needs to be secured in the Cloud with responsible real-time backup and extensive firewalls. Ideally, cyber security should also be ingrained within your organisational philosophy so that human error doesn’t lead to an accidental catastrophe. Cybercrime is a global issue, so this all needs to happen 24/7.
What’s The Most Effective Way To Prevent a Ransomware Attack?
It’s almost impossible to eradicate the risk of an attack, but there are steps that you can take to minimise the threat and reduce the impact. Outsourcing to a specialist security team is a cost-effective strategy as they will absorb the responsibilities for on-going training, monitoring, and investment. If you aren’t doing so already, consider using Cloud-based backups, as these will enable you to bounce back almost immediately if you are taken offline.
How Can TMB Help?
At TMB, we have the time, resources, and expertise to keep your organisation one step ahead of organised crime. Technology really does mean business, and as we head into 2022, that means keeping technology safe. If you want to learn more, please get in touch with one of our web security team to discuss your requirements.
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