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  • Zyon Gooden

How do I protect my small business from Ransomware?


Recently, when it comes to cyber threats, the word ransomware has been the topic of discussion for all businesses and cyber professionals. Even our government has become overly concerned with the danger of this malware. But, what exactly is a ransomware attack?


What Is Ransomware?


Ransomware, a cryptoviorology malware, is a sophisticated malware designed to publish or deny access to the victim's data until a ransom is paid. Cryptoviorology is a discipline that studies the probability of using cryptography to design powerful malicious software. In the case of ransomware, the malware encrypts the data, preventing access by the victim so that the victim has to pay the actor to unlock the data.


The Threat Is Real


According to a Bloomberg report, In late March of this year, one of the largest insurance firms in the United States, CNA Financial Corporation, paid hackers $40 million in cyber currency after suffering from a highly sophisticated ransomware attack which left the company locked out of their network for over two weeks. This attack came just weeks after the Colonial Pipeline attack, in which Colonial paid a ransom of $4.4 million after hackers shut down their operations leading to gas shortages in the Southeast.


These attacks, among many others, come in the wake of the massive SolarWinds breach this winter, in which a state-backed Russian group targeted the technology infrastructure firm used by the federal government. According to Microsoft's President, Brad Smith, the SolarWinds attack is described as the "largest and most sophisticated cyberattack the world has ever seen." There has been a significant hike in the frequency and size of ransomware attacks. These threats are serious, and they are increasing.


Combating Ransomware


Here at eSabers, LLC, we urge small to medium-size companies to let us implement the critical cybersecurity controls necessary to protect your organization and safeguard your customer's data. Moreover, there are immediate steps companies should take to protect themselves from ransomware attacks.


Some such steps are -


  • Hire a Managed Service Provider such as eSabers, LLC.


  • Data at Rest Encryption - Data at rest is data that is not moving and stored on some type of medium (i.e., storage arrays, databases). We suggest encrypting this data to prevent data loss.


  • Data in Transit Encryption - Data in transit refers to data as it transverses your network and the internet. Information traveling from one point to another (i.e., email, file transfers). We suggest encrypting this data during its transition from source to destination.


  • Multi-Factor Authentication - The method of using two or more pieces of identification to authenticate access to resources.


  • Endpoint Detection and Response Solutions - A solution that continually monitors your endpoints for cyber threats and mitigates the danger once identified. Here at eSabers, we have a solution that protects our users by preventing the cyberattack from occurring. We use N-Able's EDR. By design, it detects threats and responds to them before the threat affects the organization's network.


  • Educating users - Perform periodic training for users on ransomware and the methods used to gain entry. Ensure that your users understand industry user-based best practices and how to execute them.


Additionally, an organization should continually back up its data and perform periodical tests of its restoration process. Testing restoration ensures your data is being backed up correctly. There should also be a proper patch management system in place to keep your equipment and software up-to-date.


Conclusion


Ransomware has become a very relevant and successfully executed cyber threat. More and more companies are falling to ransomware attacks every day. An organization should take action to help prevent itself from falling victim to this type of attack. Some methods of protection are user education and the application of business best practice cyber controls.


Call eSabers, LLC today for more information. Schedule a free consultation to discuss what our professional team can do for your business to ensure the safety of your company's networks and confidentiality, integrity, and availability of its data.

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