What Exactly is Ransomware — and How Can You Keep Your Business Safe?

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What Exactly is Ransomware — and How Can You Keep Your Business Safe?

Ransomware attacks are increasing all over the world. Worse still, they are getting more complicated and harder to stop, especially for small businesses without advanced IT cybersecurity teams.

To keep your business safe, you should learn as much as you can about ransomware. You should particularly know how to avoid them, as it is incredibly difficult to deal with a ransomware attack once it happens.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a specific type of malware that breaches computer systems and networks. The malware is designed to lock up your files and deny users access to the computer systems. The computer will respond with a ransom message if you try to access your files.

Ransomware is essentially a program meant to hold companies hostage digitally. The hackers will demand ransom so you can get back access to your files. Ransomware attacks can occur in various ways, for example, by accessing insecure websites, opening links in emails, or downloading compromised software.

How To Keep Your Business Safe

The best way to avoid ransomware attacks is to be prepared. Only if you take various measures can you protect yourself and avoid ransomware attacks.

The following are tips to help you keep your business safe:

Build a Cybersecurity Culture at the Company

You cannot avoid using technology in business, and though people have specific roles at a company, everyone using a computer should learn cybersecurity best practices. Therefore, you should build a culture at your company that ensures everyone’s vigilance against cybersecurity attacks.

Your employees can be your greatest asset or weakness in preventing ransomware attacks. You should help them learn about tools available to help you remove ransomware before it attacks.

It would be best if you also educated them about how to avoid phishing attacks and securing & encrypting data, among other cybersecurity practices that will ensure your business is safe.

Backup Your Files

Ransomware attacks work best when a company has no backup files, so they have to pay, so the business does not collapse.

Most cybersecurity experts will tell you that you should not negotiate with hackers. However, it may be cheaper to pay if you are losing money due to a lack of access to your computer systems.

On the other hand, if you have backups, you can use the second set of files to continue your business operations. Hackers are also less likely to attack your company if they know you have backups and will not comply with their demands.

Update Programs and Software

When companies release various programs and software, hackers start working on ways to take advantage of security vulnerabilities. Therefore, to prevent ransomware attacks, you should continually update your company’s programs and software as often as possible.

Software developers will often fix security issues by adding patches which you can only gain when you update the software. These patches reduce your computer systems’ vulnerability to cybersecurity attacks and are typically free.

Regular updates are one of the best and easiest ways to ensure your business is safe from ransomware attacks.

Restrict Public Wi-Fi Use

Your employees may take their work home, which may mean they use public Wi-Fi. Public Wi-Fi systems significantly increase the chances of ransomware attacks on your company’s computer systems.

Therefore, you should do your best to discourage employees from using them. They should use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) if they have to use public Wi-Fi. A VPN is a security barrier that makes it more difficult for outside parties to access your computer system.

Now that you know what a ransomware attack is, you should do your best to prevent them. By updating programs & software, backing up your files, restricting public Wi-Fi use, and having a strong cybersecurity culture at your company, you can prevent most ransomware attacks.

Eternal vigilance is the price you have to pay to ensure cyber criminals never take advantage of security vulnerabilities in your computers.

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