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4 Tips To Avoid Ransomware Attacks

As technology continues to advance and evolve, the security of assets also continues to become increasingly essential. This is because cybercriminals have continually found it beneficial to take advantage of human and technological flaws to carry out diverse forms of criminal activities.

Malicious attacks such as ransomware are becoming the order of the day. So, if you are yet to create a defense strategy for your digital business, you should prioritize having a ransomware defense strategy now — whether you are using it for a company or private covering,

According to Statista.com, the first half of 2022 saw a whopping 236.1 million ransomware attacks around the globe! This implies that without a defense system against ransomware attacks, you’ll simply be putting your business at risk of losing highly confidential information.

A single attack can devastate your company, which means your company may never recover from a ransomware event if it happens. Many company owners understand how valuable data is to their business. And losing it would cause irreparable harm being generated, which could also result in crippling an entire business operation. Hence, you must stay proactive by equipping yourself with the best protection practices to ward off all ransomware attacks.

So, What Exactly Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is targeted at a computer and used to encrypt sensitive information or personally identifiable information (PII) and hold it hostage so that it is practically impossible for the owners to access it until they have paid a requested amount or “ransom” by the attacker. The implied act of demanding ransom after capturing key data in a malicious action is therefore referred to as ransomware.

Cybercriminals often use a binary encryption key to restrict data access to extort money from their victims. Regardless of the kind of organization you own, whether a school, hospital, business, or religious organization, ransomware attacks can be dangerous for your data. If you don’t pay for the ransom demanded, you risk losing the confidential information permanently, or it gets exposed.

Some popular ways people get ransomware attacks to include:

  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) attacks
  • Phishing
  • Downloading malicious attachments or infected file extensions.
  • Visiting corrupted online platforms
  • Vulnerabilities in enterprise networks and system

Types Of Ransomware

No company is wholly immune to ransomware attacks, whether private individuals, small businesses, or large enterprises. They will lock up files and grind business activities to a halt unless speedily sorted. Some main ransomware types include:

Doxware/Leakware: This is quite rampant. An attacker will leak business or personal data if a requested fine is not paid.

Encryption: The encryption strategy is the most popular form of ransomware. The attacker encrypts data and makes it difficult to access the data without access to a decryption key.

Lockers: Lockers lock basic controls on a computer to make it hard for the administrators to use until they have paid a demanded ransom.

Scareware: The primary goal is to scare its victims into making an unnecessary software purchase. Sometimes, users will be flooded with popups all over their screens until they are forced to pay to remove them.

The best approach to fighting ransomware is to prevent it. If you want to avoid ransomware attacks, these four best ransomware prevention practices will help.

1. Back Up Your Data From Time to Time

You can survive many of the primary forms of cyber attacks if you back up your data regularly. For example, when it comes to ransomware attacks, the user can wipe out everything on the computer and reinstall the backup files. In an ideal way, organizations should back up all sensitive data daily.

A workable backup strategy is the 3-2-1 rule that includes keeping three separate data copies on two different types of storage and an offline destination at a location where potential attackers cannot take advantage of it.

2. Secure DNS

The Domain Name System (DNS) is the protocol that makes the Internet usable by giving access to domain name usage. DNS is popularly trusted by enterprises, and the traffic is given free access through network firewalls. However, ransomware attackers leverage this free access to carry out diverse insecurity operations on a network system.

If you don’t know how to secure DNS, some proven strategies you can consider include using DNS advertisers, DNS resolvers, disabling zone transfers, enabling DDNS for secure connections only, using firewalls to control DNS access, setting access controls on DNS registry entries, and protect DNS from cache pollution.

3. Phishing Awareness

Business owners should train their employees and every player in the organization on strategic ways to handle phishing attempts via email. It is common for ransomware to spread through phishing and untrusted links. So, it is essential that every suspicious email or unknown email source must be avoided.

In the first quarter of 2022, APWG recorded 1,025,968 phishing attacks. And some of the popular ways attackers leverage phishing is when a user downloads suspicious email attachment, click links that direct to infected web platforms, and tricks users into disclosing sensitive information via email (social engineering).

4. Limit User Access Privileges

Another approach to preventing ransomware attacks is to protect enterprise systems and networks by limiting user access privileges. By this, a limitation is placed on who can access essential network resources and data. This strategy helps to control the spread of a potential ransomware attack within the network.

Even when users are given access to resources, they can only use resources needed per time to execute a task — as defined in a role-based access control (RBAC) policy. It is also a typical zero-trust model that eliminates implicit trust in access requests and ensures that every user or device request is subjected to an authorization and authentication process.

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