Ransomware is hitting businesses in a big way. According to a study by security firm, Sophos, 51% of all surveyed businesses were attacked by ransomware in 2020, with companies ranging from billion dollar oil conglomerates, to local auto shops. So what is Ransomware exactly, and how can you ensure your business doesn’t fall victim?
During a ransomware attack, hackers infect business computer systems or server(s) with malware which takes over and encrypts company data. The cyber attackers then demand ransom by threatening to delete or compromise all financial records, private customer data, and more.
While the headlines highlight the million dollar ransoms paid by some of the world's largest companies, small businesses often suffer far more and are targeted by 47% of all ransomware attacks. This is largely due to most small businesses lacking adequate protection. Unlike large corporations with billions of reserve funding, the impacts ransomware attacks have on small businesses are often fatal.
The rate of ransomware attacks are sky rocketing, with an increase in some industries by over 470% from 2019 as reported by Comparitech. It is clear; small businesses are most at risk due to vulnerable digital security. So the question remains, how can you fortify your company's digital security today?
1. Be smart about where company data is stored.
The biggest vulnerability a business can leave open is storing all company data in one place. Diversifying platforms, servers, and computers where records are housed, and backing up company data to a separate secure cloud storage and external hard drives, is crucial.
2. Ensure employees are adequately trained.
While employees are a huge asset to a small business, they can also be a large threat. Ensuring all employees are trained in digital security, helps keep the business safe. This includes, strong, regularly updated passwords, storing passwords properly, and practicing safe internet and e-mail habits. Enabling two factor authentication for computer systems and business programs decreases the chances of a data breach having catastrophic effects on your company.
3. Periodically audit your digital security system.
While nobody knows your business processes better than your team, when it comes to digital security, a pair of outside, trained eyes, helps spot gaping holes in security practices which may be going unrecognized. This includes outdated or compromised computer systems, data access for former employees which should be removed, digital security risks via internet and server access, and more.
Whether you run your own computer systems, or have in-house IT support, it is best to plan annual audits with a digital forensics company. Audits are run in person for a full physical analysis, or remotely. Exhibit A Discovery provides digital security audits for businesses of all sizes in the Los Angeles and Orange County area and provides full service, national remote support. To schedule a consultation to ensure your business is secure, please reach out directly at 909-736-3166.