How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks

Last week, we published a blog about how you can prevent phishing attacks from hurting your business. You can read that blog here (Phishing) But did you know that phishing can open the door for more harmful attacks? In fact, many phishing scams can lead to other hacks including Ransomware attacks. Today, Aspis is going to teach you everything you need to know about how to protect yourself from Ransomware attacks and how you can stay safe from those who are trying to hold you and your business at ransom.

What is Ransomware?

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency government website defines ransomware as an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand a ransom in exchange for decryption If the ransom is not paid, the malicious actors will often sell or leak the data on the dark web. These ransoms can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to the largest recorded ransom of $40 million that happened in late 2021.

Here’s an example of how a ransomware attack can occur:

  1. A user is tricked into clicking on a malicious link (PHISHING) that downloads a file from an external website.
  2. The user executes the file, not knowing that the file is ransomware.
  3. The ransomware takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the user’s computer and other computers to spread throughout the organization.
  4. The ransomware simultaneously encrypts files on all the computers, then displays messages on their screens demanding payment in exchange for decrypting the files.

These attacks can be extremely dangerous for a couple of reasons. Firstly, if you don’t pay the ransom, private data could be released on the internet. Not only can this lead to more cyber-attacks against your business, but it could ruin the trust you have with your clients. Also, these ransoms can be extremely costly. In fact, the average cost of a successful cyberattack for small businesses in 2020 was $24,000! Do you have that kind of money just lying around?

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Now, the big question is ‘how can I stop this from happening at my business?’ Recently, I sat down with Aspis founder and CEO, Jeff Wagner, to talk more in-depth about ransomware. Jeff told me, “the most important thing an organization can do to avoid any kind of malware compromise is to ensure that all software including operating systems and business support software is up to date with the latest patches.” Besides keeping software up to date, Jeff explained the importance of training your staff against cyber-attacks like this. “The weakest link in any organization’s cybersecurity program is its people. Employees, vendors, and partners who access company systems can be a solid first line of defense when properly trained.” 

Here at Aspis, we offer several preventative resources to help you stay resilient against ransomware attacks. We are an authorized reseller of KnowBe4, a security awareness training for employees. We can also provide general consulting and a managed security awareness program to help your business stay free of cyber-attacks. 

Have you been a victim of a ransomware attack? Here’s how Aspis can help: We offer incident response & recovery plans, incident response exercises, and recovery management consulting support.

Want some more tips on how To protect yourself from ransomware attacks? Check out this great infographic from the NCCoE!

Who is Aspis Consulting?

Aspis is an IT professional services firm headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri specializing in cybersecurity and management consulting. Aspis strives to make enterprise cybersecurity solutions and professional services accessible to all sizes of organizations from small to medium-sized businesses to large Fortune 500 enterprises; non-profits; and municipal, state, and federal government agencies. Our values are Integrity, Community, Diversity.

Aspis’ vision is to democratize cybersecurity. This means that through our mission we strive to make enterprise cybersecurity solutions, IT professional services, and administrative and management consulting services accessible to all sizes of organizations from small and medium-sized businesses to large Fortune 500 enterprises; non-profits; and to local, state, and federal government agencies. We right-size our enterprise products and services for the SMB market so they are affordable.

With the additional locations of Duluth, Minnesota, and Washington, DC Aspis has grown to become a national brand and has helped businesses of all sizes with their cybersecurity needs. Our team offers a full suite of services including cybersecurity management consulting; compliance assessments; security awareness training; and darkweb monitoring to both our commercial and government clients. Our organization has been featured in publications including Forbes, IBM, and the US Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, Aspis is a Certified HUBZone Small Business, Certified LGBTBE, and Certified Virginia Values Veterans company. 

Additionally, want to learn more about How To Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks and how Aspis can help you with your cybersecurity or administrative needs check out our website. Also, follow us on LinkedInFacebook, and Instagram. We post things to stay up to date on cybersecurity news, company updates, and need-to-know tips.

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