Cyber Attacks and Ransomware Threats: 6 Ways to Stay Ahead

Ransomware attacks are no longer a light issue within the business space. Recent statistics show that in 2021, 37% of organizations reported being victims of at least one cyberattack. Additionally, between January and the end of July 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported 2,084 cases.

Is your organization or business secure?

Cyber security will always be an ongoing conversation as businesses and organizations become more tech-enabled and move their operations to the internet and the cloud. However, this doesn’t mean that your business it support has to grapple with a growingly complex world of cyber security while trying to focus on other facets of your business that need growth.

Proper education will put you safe and ahead of the rest. Here’re a few examples of common cyberattacks and ransomware threats and a few tips that will keep your organization safe.

What are Ransomware Threats and Cyberattacks?

In most cases, ransomware encrypts data and demands payment (ransom) from victims to restore access to it. In addition, a deadline is often set for the payment.

Ransomware is a threat that falls within the broader range of cyberattacks. A cyberattack occurs when a malicious party (hacker) damages or destroys a computer system or network. Cyberattacks target personal computers, computer networks, infrastructures, and computer information systems.

Types of Cyber Threats

So, what are the different types of cyber threats?

Types of Cyber Threats

Cyber threats constantly evolve as attackers find new and clever ways to infiltrate computer networks and systems. Some of the most common types of cyber threats include:

Malware

Malware is also known as malicious software or malicious code. It is a program installed into a computer system or network to compromise data availability, integrity, or confidentiality.

The installation of malware happens discreetly, intending to harm the computer’s operating system, applications, or data.

Ransomware

Ransomware limits users’ access to their computer network, infrastructure, or data using malware. The attacker forces the victim to make an online payment to regain access to their data or system. According to the FBI, this is one of the most widely used cyberattacks.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)

DDoS attacks make an online service unavailable by jamming it with multiple requests from many sources and locations. As a result, the website or online service slows down due to the excess traffic, preventing legitimate requests from accessing it.

Spam and Phishing

Spamming involves sending unsolicited messages and emails. Phishing, on the other hand, is a form of social engineering that attempts to get sensitive information. Phishing attacks appear to come from a trusted source while it’s the attacker masquerading as someone or an organization you know.

Corporate Account Takeover (CATO)

A corporate account takeover is a business entity theft where a cybercriminal impersonates a business or organization and requests unauthorized ACH and wire transactions. The requested funds are directed to the attacker’s bank account.

Automated Teller Machine (ATM) Cash Out

This attack is a type of significant dollar value ATM fraud. The attacker simultaneously withdraws large amounts of cash from several ATMs in many regions or one ATM.

Despite the complexity and broadness of these attacks, it is possible to stay ahead of cyber criminals and keep your organization safe. Here’s how.

Cyber Attacks and Ransomware Threats: 6 Ways to Stay Ahead

6 Ways to Stay Ahead of Cyberattacks

The following are ways you can protect yourself from ransomware threats and other cyberattacks.

Perform Risk Assessments Regularly

Certain businesses are at higher risk of cyberattacks than others. For example, other companies store higher-risk data in some parts of their network or departments that can be valuable to cyber attackers.

Therefore, knowing where you’re most vulnerable is very important.

Locking down your IP address to ensure only verified access is a good way of mitigating most risks, but it is not a guaranteed failsafe. You must conduct regular risk assessments run by a professional to identify vulnerabilities in your network as they appear.

Create a Cybersecurity Response Plan

No system is 100% safe. Apart from sealing all vulnerabilities as you test and discover them, you must create a response plan if your systems get compromised. Will you notify customers? Will you shut down all systems and cancel all transactions? How will you recover lost or stolen information?

These policies and procedures will protect your business from losing more revenue, data, and, worse, its hard-earned reputation.

Have Multiple Fronts for Defense

Modern cyber security requires more than one point of defense for businesses and organizations on the web. A secure firewall and antivirus program are just the beginning of multiple security layers necessary in today’s cyber climate. You must also invest in proper computer infrastructure, alert and remediation tools and systems, domains, and cloud services to protect you from most attack vectors.

You should also be able to detect and respond to threats in real time.

Encourage Communication and Collaboration

Fighting cyber criminals needs teamwork. With the new office dynamic of working remotely, fighting cyber criminals as a team has become more paramount. Therefore, you must devise clever ways to enhance remote staff collaboration and communication.

However, do your homework before buying any collaboration and messaging software on the internet. A few popular ones have had cybersecurity incidents that can jeopardize your organization.

Segregate Networks and Limit Access

Segregating networks should be a core security practice in your organization or business. Limiting access to certain parts of your network reduces the risk of criminals gaining access to the network, infrastructure, or data.

For instance, if your remote staff only has access to a small portion of the computer network, systems, and infrastructure, any attacker who uses their network, can only go so far. Your critical data and systems are still secure thanks to the greater control layered security grants you than a single universal line of defense.

Use HTTPS

HTTPS, which stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, is the secure form of HTTP, the global standard used to transmit data on the web. HTTPS ensures the communication between the server and web browser is encrypted and thus protected from malicious actors.

Websites are quickly becoming the official communication point for modern brands. Thus, securing communication through HTTPS is very vital.

So, what are the takeaways?

Get the Help of a Cyber Security Professional to Secure Your Business

Is it possible to keep up with the world of cybersecurity? Yes. But the tips mentioned above are just a few easy layers of protection. Work with a professional IT team to create an active comprehensive plan to ensure your network, infrastructure, and data are safe from bad actors prowling the internet.

Contact a cyber security professional today and have them manage your organization’s security for peace of mind and an excellent reputation.

Richelle Calicott

Richelle Calicott is the partner and Chief Financial Officer for TechSeven Partners. TechSeven Partners is an IT solutions provider in Fort Mill, SC, and is prominent in the small to medium business sectors.

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