Ransomware attacks are sadly on the rise again. After their steep decline in 2022, there was hope that the international crackdown on ransomware criminals was taking effect. But since then, we’ve seen a sharp rise in ransomware attacks.
The total amount of ransomware revenue is projected to hit US$898.6 million by the end of 2023. That would make this year the second-highest in history for ransomware revenue, followed by 2021 in which US$939.9 million was extorted from victims.
So, with ransomware attacks on the rise, there are a couple of key questions to ask. What are some of the key strategies we should be using to protect our data? And just how important is it for businesses to be cyber-insured on their ICT plan? (Hint: extremely). The specialists in cybersecurity at Real Innovation Group explain.
What is ransomware?
So, what is this malicious software with a suitably malicious name? Ransomware is a type of malware threat which cybercriminals use to infect computers and encrypt computer files until a ransom is paid. After having infected your system, ransomware will attempt to spread to connected systems, including shared storage drives and other devices. If the ransom isn’t paid, the data is usually held encrypted indefinitely. Even if the ransom is paid, some cybercriminals won’t actually release the data from encryption, or will demand further payments to be made. It is generally advised against paying ransomware actors, as this discourages them from continuing their practices.
How to protect your data against ransomware
Thankfully, there are some simple and straightforward strategies to protect your data against ransomware attack. These include:
- Backing up your data
Regularly backing up your data is key to protecting yourself against the threat of ransomware. By making more than one copy of important data means that if one file gets encrypted by ransomware, you’ve always got the back-up file.
- Storing backups separately
Of course, there’s no use if you back-up the files onto the same computer, as they will likely also be encrypted in a ransomware attack. Instead, store them separately, on an off-system cloud or physical hard drive.
- Patch applications
Preventing a ransomware attack is the better than the cure, and patching applications is a big part of prevention. Ensure your applications and operating systems have been updated with the latest patches with the latest security measures, as vulnerable applications and OSs are the target of most ransomware attacks.
- Educate staff
Most ransomware attacks target employees through emails. Conduct staff training to increase awareness on ransomware threats throughout the company.
Real Innovation Group cyber insurance
But implementing these measures doesn’t always protect you from a particularly well-crafted cyberattack. This is where cyber insurance is essential. After the recent Medibank, Optus and Telstra hackings, it’s made getting cyber insurance a lot more difficult. Our ICT support, however, is fully insured.
ICT Support that’s insured, with no excess to pay… ever! We offer tailored, scalable cybersecurity solutions to businesses across Australia. Our managed cyber security services ensure your business is completely cyber secure, while reducing wasted time and money on training and staff upkeep. Prevent problems, get innovative solutions and save money all at the same time when you talk to the team at Real Innovation Group and inquire about our top quality cybersecurity services.
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