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Ransomware is Only Getting Worse in 2022… So What Can You Do?

by | Jan 21, 2022 | MyTek Blog, Security

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Ransomware is not going anywhere. So, today, we’re going to take a look at the way it is changing and how to avoid ransomware today.

First, let’s talk about what ransomware is and then, what we can do to resist it.

What is Ransomware: A Review

Ransomware is the kind of malware that locks down a system until a monetary sum is paid off. This type of malware has been around for years and since its beginning, has grown and expanded in its devious capabilities. It’s also gained popularity since 84 percent of organizations have experienced phishing or ransomware in the past year. Phishing and ransomware often go hand in hand when it comes to cyberattacks.

Ransomware attacks have also been changing the game and instead of only offering the data back for money, they have been threatening to leak the data if they don’t pay even more money. Ransomware as a Service is an actual thing that hackers can use to cause hurt and profit off of ransoms. Sadly, ransomware is an issue that isn’t going to go away, so we’ll need to know how to be prepared to deal with it.

What to Do to Face Down Ransomware

Not that long ago, our best advice would have been to make sure your data was backed up so you can refuse to pay the ransom. But now that they are threatening to leak as well, that method is not necessarily effective. While we still recommend having a comprehensive and redundant data backup, a backup can no longer help with ransomware attacks.

Here’s what we recommend now:

Keeping Defenses Up-to-Date

Basic antivirus and firewalls can do an amazing job of filtering out ransomware attempts, so it is important that these protections are as up-to-date as possible. You should be keeping track of patches that are released and make sure they are applied as soon as possible.

Beyond these, we also advise you to have additional advanced protections in place. One important one is a part of your email solutions. You can have your IT resource configure your email so that it can scan ZIP attachments and block bad files from infiltrating. The fewer ransomware attacks that come in, the better.

Educating and Evaluating Users

Your team should also be educated so they don’t fall into a trap. Phishing attacks can sometimes be hard to identify, so you’ll want to make sure that your employees know exactly what they are looking for. You should have training on this so that nothing slips between the cracks. You can actually run simulated phishing attacks so your team can learn what to look for and avoid it when it actually happens.

Following Zero-Trust Policies

There will always be a risk that even your best-trained employees will slip up. This is why it is so important that your employees only have access to what they need. If they access all of your business’ data, even if they don’t need it, the hackers get it all. If they only have access to a smaller quantity, you have at least saved some of your data – most likely your most valuable data.

Maintaining Backup Practices

While ransomware attacks might still slip through the cracks, you’re now better equipped to fight them. Avoid them even better with MyTek’s help. We can monitor your network and make sure nothing out of the blue is happening. Give us a call at 623-312-2440 to learn more about how to avoid ransomware.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Tim Tiller, LMSW

 
Tim Tiller, MSW brings a deep service background to his role at Mytek, having graduated from McDonald’s management training program, fresh out of high school, and working his way up through the ranks in the hospitality industry. He has led two prior companies – Multi-Systems Inc., an IT-focused organization providing technology to hospitality companies (where he was named President at age 36), and most recently, as Chief Operating Officer for Jewish Voice Ministries International.

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