The most recent global cyber-attack, called “WannaCry,” unleashed panic worldwide, both in the private and public sector. Companies in Vancouver too feared that their systems aren’t strong enough to withstand an attack and hackers will lock their computers, threatening to delete everything unless they pay a ransom.
Fortunately, Vancouver (and, Canada in general) was spared from the massive attack. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be just as lucky next time. Here are some tips to keep in mind to ensure your organization will be safe in the face of future attacks.
Work On Your Protection System
Protect your information and communication technology system by employing a clear strategy against cyber-attacks. It might sound complicated and expensive, but the reality is that any business can employ a few measures that can reduce the risks of cyber intrusions significantly.
If done properly, application whitelisting, patching apps and making sure you’re using up-to-date ones, using the latest version of operating systems, as well as minimizing administrative privileges can do more for you than you think. As always, it’s better to protect and prevent than to treat, especially since, when it comes to ransomware attacks, treating is virtually impossible in most cases.
Don’t Negotiate With the Kidnappers
There’s a reason this saying exists, and you can learn a lot from it. Just think about it: the situation is almost identical with a kidnapping. Your data is being held captive by criminals that threaten to delete it if you don’t pay them a ransom. The catch is, even if you do pay the ransom, you might still lose your data. Best-case scenario: you pay up and get your data back. Worst-case scenario: you pay, but end up losing both your money and our data. More than that, you’re now in the hacker’s database, and they might target you again in the future since they know now that you are willing to pay the price they are asking.
You’re also funding the hackers’ criminal actions and helping them develop more complex ransomware attacks, hurting thousands of other people in the process. We know you’re tempted to pay the ransom, especially when there’s a lot at stake, but trust us and don’t do it.
Don’t Let Malware Interrupt Business
Figuring out how to stay productive after a cyber-attack is crucial for the wellbeing of your business, especially if you’re a small one. One simple yet effective solution is to move to the cloud.
By placing your back-end architecture in virtual space, you can ensure that you’ll be able to access it at any time remotely and without the requirement of actual physical server hardware.
The list of benefits is pretty long.
By moving to the cloud, you will also benefit from huge data centers, flexibility and, most importantly, scalability. And, do you know what the best part about it is? Cloud services & solutions have built-in protection that reduce the chances of suffering a direct hit from a ransomware attack. So don’t worry if your machines get infected – it will mean nothing if you’ve already moved to the cloud.
Don’t Just Wait For It to Happen
The worst approach you can have when it comes to cyber-attacks is to hope that you are too small or too insignificant to be hit by ransomware. Cyber-attacks are becoming more and more common nowadays and choosing to ignore the risk until it hits you isn’t a wise strategy.
Ransomware attacks, in particular, have become more complex and sophisticated than ever before and are lurking around the corner just waiting to catch you unprepared. Make sure you at least take the basic steps for protecting your business’ data.
Regular backups are obviously your best option when it comes to such threats. Even if you get infected and lose your data, your business won’t suffer that much since you have a backup.
Another excellent way to protect your company against ransomware attacks is to train your employees how to use their computers and avoid infection. You should also limit or remove admin rights from users since this will, in turn, limit the damage, that malware can cause.
However, some malware can override these privilege limitations and gain administrative rights, so don’t rely too much on this trick. The best solution remains to have a set plan for removing the infection in your systems, restoring your backups and then getting back to your day-to-day operations.
As a last word of advice, don’t give the attackers the satisfaction of seeing your business hurt. Be prepared so that when they hit, you just get up and continue as nothing happened. That will discourage them.