Ransomware: It’s about customer trust
🕒 3 min read
✏️ Carolina Seargent
According to a recent study, 1.4 million UK businesses fell victim to a major security attack in 2018 -- resulting in over £8.8 billion of losses.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to the data unless a sum of money, or ransom, is paid. Some ransomware attacks are even more vicious -- your data can be destroyed even after you've paid.
If you think your business is safe because it is too small to attract a cyber thief's attention, think again.
99% of MSPs believe that the frequency of attacks against SMBs will continue to increase during 2019-2021.
Results of theWannaCry ransomware attackin May 2017:
- 150 countries hit
- More than 300,000 machines infected
200,000 companies victimised
The point is, ransomware respects neither you nor your company. No company is immune, but small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are more vulnerable because of budget constraints and smaller spend on IT infrastructure and security.
What can SMBs do to beef up their defences against ransomware attacks?
Some experts have suggested that companies buy insurance against cyber attacks. However, this may not be cheap and does not prevent an attack in the first place. Also, while insurance can help recover costs related to the ransom payment and other IT expenditure caused by the fallout, there is no guarantee that you can recover your data.
For ransomware, prevention is the best cure.
Here are some steps your company can take to reduce its exposure to attacks:
1. Educate employees on the dos and don'ts of ransomware attacks. One simple reminder is to never click on any unsolicited links or email attachments.
2. Maintain a security protocol that can protect your employees while they are on the go and using mobile devices such as laptops.
3. Install a virtual security system that detects and contains. This system can continuously monitor your networks, identify malware exploit kits, and prevent malware code from executing. It will also block malicious command-and-control traffic, malicious files, and malicious URLs in emails.
4. Reduce infection risk by developing a proactive security plan that leverages on a multilayer defence. By having predictive intelligence to understand where attacks are staged on the Internet, you can also continuously improve your network hygiene and evaluate your security posture.
5. Make sure you have a current business continuity plan. Back up all your critical data regularly. Test the integrity of the backups and ensure that the restoration process is always working. Backups should not be connected to your system networks and should be stored in the cloud or in offline physical storage.
6. Conduct an annual vulnerability assessment, which can include simulated cyber attacks.
7. Have a consistent and comprehensive patch management process in place.
8. Smaller businesses that cannot afford in-house IT teams can engage external security expertise and delegate control of IT systems to managed service providers (MSPs).
Many SMBs list security as the highest priority when it comes to buying technology infrastructure for the company - according to an IDC study commissioned by Cisco.
SMBs globally are now more aware of the need to protect against ransomware and other cyber attacks. The SMBs interviewed in the IDC study also said that they rely on solutions provided by established brands, which they find are more trustworthy and have enough built-in security.
Your business should not be left in the dark.
At Cisco, we know that customer data is the lifeblood of your company. Securing this information is non-negotiable. Ultimately, the best reason for an SMB to invest in a strong suite of cyber defence solutions is to secure customer trust.
Learn how Cisco SMB solutions can help you do that here.