What is Ransomware and How Can Organizations Prevent a Ransomware Incident

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Organizations everywhere are facing an increasingly complicated and antagonistic security prospect, where the impact of cyber threats and data breaches are increasing significantly. Just recently, it has emerged that hackers have compromised Indian outsourcing consulting giant Wipro and potentially used them to target its clients. Wipro has come under fire before: In 2017, UK based ISP TalkTalk was fined after data belonging to 21,000 customers were exposed by rogue staff after the firm hired Wipro to resolve complaints and network problems. This shows that even multi-million dollar companies are also not safe from hacks and ransomware. Therefore, understanding and preventing the risks associated with the current digital situation is a necessary step to keeping your organization safe and secure from digital threats. Organizations all around the globe are aiming to remain resilient to these cyber attacks, which is also a key to protecting their reputation, brand position, and confidential data.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, also known as malware. Every ransomware has one goal, and that is to extort money from their victims. Most of the malware, including the WannaCry ransomware, encrypts files on the victim’s computer and then demand payment to decrypt them. Some variants of ransomware may be more harmful than others, but they all have one thing in common: victims eventually pay up.

Cybercriminals and hackers are helped by the fact that many organizations lack the human and financial resources necessary to protect them from threats and views it as an opportunity to prey on more victims.

How To Prevent Any Ransomware Incident

Ransomware has been a profitable market for cybercriminals and therefore it is sure to endure in the coming years and remain a cyberthreat. The best way to deal with a ransomware attack is to prevent it from ever happening in the first place, and since we’re dealing with cybercriminals here, paying the ransom doesn’t ensure access will be restored.

1)Backup and protect all your data

Have a private, regular backup system in place, therefore having your data safely on a different computer will save you from having to pay a ransom to recover your files. Nowadays, there are lots of backup solutions on the market, including both software- and hardware-based options.

2) Keep Your System Updated

Make a habit of updating your software and operating system regularly. Software updates frequently include patches for newly discovered security threats and other vulnerabilities that could be exploited by ransomware attackers. Windows system-update notices can get quite annoying but don’t ignore them, many updates involve security patches, and those are crucial to keeping your devices safe.

3)Educate Your Employees

It’s vital to have a well-designed security awareness training program at least once every month. Several employees are often responsible for ignorantly inviting ransomware in, usually by clicking on unwanted links in emails and popup messages that prompt downloads. Unfortunately, it only takes one wrong click to infect an entire network. Therefore, keep your employees trained on how to respond under such circumstances, as most people don’t report suspected phishing campaigns, depriving security teams of valuable data.

4)Protect your Network

Take a layered security approach for your network, with safety infused from the endpoint to email to the domain name system layer. Install antivirus software, firewalls, and email filters to clear out unwanted spam and keep them updated. Technologies such as a next-generation firewall (NGFW) or an intrusion prevention system (IPS) reduce malicious network traffic and can prevent cyber threats to your network to some extent.

Cybercrime affects organizations of all shapes and sizes. With cybercriminals’ schemes of compromising valuable information and infecting systems with malware continuing to evolve and threats become more assertive and complex, cybersecurity for organizations is now more important than ever before.

At CGI, our services focus on securing corporate data, applications, and environments, with the best in class security technology. CGI individually tailors effective and reliable security to meet the needs of your business, thereby allowing organizations to combat areas of vulnerability while providing a plan to mitigate risks.

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