5 Ransomware Security Concerns and 5 Ways to Protect Yourself

By RMON Networks | September 16, 2019

Ransomware Security Concerns 2019


1. Ransomware Is on the Rise

According to the 2019 Verizon Data breach Investigations Report, Malware accounted for 28% of data incidents and Ransomware attacks made up 24% of all Malware breaches! Ransomware is on the rise even though overall Malware attacks have gone down from last year.

This is partially because hackers are getting more on target with who they want to attack. They are targeting hospitals, cities and local governments because they know that these organizations operations will come to a halt once their data becomes encrypted.

“Ransomware is currently one of, if not the largest, security threats for small businesses. Many business owners think that they’re too small for threat actors to target. Now, with current Ransomware technologies it’s much easier to go after smaller companies as they usually don’t have the same level of security in place as larger enterprises. Implementing some basic security solutions, such as Multi-Factor Authentication, proper backups, and security awareness training, will go a long way towards protecting your businesses.” – Dave Ellis, RMON Networks’ CIO

2. More Municipalities Are Getting Hacked

Texas Ransomware Attack 2019In August, 23 Municipalities in Texas were victims of a ransomware attack. According to Wired, this was a coordinated strike and is being called the largest single source ransomware attack against local government.  In total over 70 local governments have been Ransomware victims in 2019 according to researchers from Barracuda Networks. Based on data from Malwarebytes, attacks against businesses and governments are up by 365%! This puts into perspective how important it is to implement solid cybersecurity practices within your business.

RMON Networks has been working with municipalities for years and they know local governments inside and out. They support and upgrade the most common software used by municipalities. If you want to know more about why you should partner with RMON Networks for ransomware protection for your local government, read on.

3. Ransomware Is Easier for Hackers to Apply

Ransomware is easier for hackers to implement because they can make money just by stealing or encrypting data. Other cyber attack tactics like computer worms or Trojan viruses take much more effort to implement. Why work harder to completely shut down an organization when you can have almost the same effect by stealing their data and holding it for a hefty ransom?

4. You May Think Paying the Ransom Costs Less, but It’s Not the Right Way to Go

Business owners might consider paying the ransom because a cyber attack causes massive downtime. According to the ITIC 2019 Global Server Hardware Server OS Reliability Report, just one hour of downtime costs 98% of organizations over $100,000. You can’t service your customers while you are overwhelmed by the aftermath of a cyber incident and therefore your operations come to a halt. Use our Downtime Calculator to figure out how much time your business can afford to lose when dealing with a cyber incident. More than likely, you won’t be able to afford any lost time at all.

5. If You DO Pay the Ransom, There Is No Guarantee That You Will Get Your Data Back Either

Do you really think the person that is holding your data hostage cares about the well-being of your business? In fact, according to howtogeek, a data decryption key might not even exist for your type of Ransomware. If you’re caught in the crossfire of an attack aimed at a nation-state, or by a tool created to attack states that has been repurposed for routine criminal acts, there might be no way to decrypt your data by default.

How to Protect Yourself Against Ransomware

5 Ways to Protect Yourself from RansomwareBecause of these risks, the only way to avoid paying for ransomware is to implement solid cyber security practices. Backing up your data is key to fending off ransomware if you do get attacked. If cyber criminals get a hold of your company information, you can just restore it through your backup, alert the proper authorities, and move on. In general, it is important to have a solid network to ensure that cyber criminals can’t break in and steal/encrypt your data in the first place.

Due to the recent ransomware attacks against the 23 Texas municipalities, the US Department of Homeland Security released a guide with 5 actionable steps to protect yourself from a cyber-attack. Below is their list and how RMON Networks helps with each step.

1. Back up your data, system images, and configurations and keep the backups offline.

RMON Networks confirms that backups are done regularly and stored offsite. They also have a backup queue where any failed backup jobs are flagged and corrected. This queue is monitored by at least three technicians every morning.

 2. Update and patch systems.

Patches are automatically pushed to machines that are maintained by RMON after hours. RMON instructs clients to tell their employees to leave systems on overnight if possible, which allows patching to take place. Rebooting your computers is also important so that automatic updates get installed. RMON also works with clients to replace dated servers and workstations.

3. Make sure your security solutions are up to date.

Endpoint Protection is installed and updated on each workstation. RMON runs reports that flag workstations without updated antivirus. These reports create a ticket to alert technicians that the machine needs attention.

4. Review and exercise your incident response plan.

RMON Networks works with their backup vendors to make sure they can access and if necessary, recreate, a virtual server from the scheduled backups.

 5. Pay attention to ransomware events and apply lessons learned.

The few ransomware events RMON has seen have been from clients that have not applied the above measures. While all are important, the largest take away is to make sure regular backups are taken, tested, and stored in the event of any type of attack or accident.

Ransomware attacks are becoming more common, keep your business safe!

By the end of 2019 Ransomware is expected to attack a business every 14 seconds, that’s a scary statistic. This form of malware is easier for hackers to implement which is why attacks are increasing. The best way to keep yourself safe from Ransomware is to back up your data. RMON Networks’ team of cyber security experts can help strengthen your organization’s cyber security and set you up with solid data backup solutions!

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