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Cyber Security: Ransomware Attacks

According to the FBI, cyber attacks have become increasingly more intense, frequent, and dangerous. All businesses are now at risk for ransomware and other cyberattacks from individuals, groups, or states like China, Russia, Iran, or North Korea. 

Ransomware remains the most prominent malware threat. Ransomware attacks are estimated to occur every 11 seconds in 2021.

What would a typical ransomware attack cost your business?

If your business were to be hit by a ransomware attack, expect to experience an average of 21 days of downtime, pay an average of $200,000 in ransom—and not get most of your data back (only 8% of surveyed businesses got all of their data back). If you do get data back, it would be at least partially corrupted. Plus you can expect revenue loss, brand damage, loss of jobs, and minimal coverage from your cyber insurance policy—if your coverage includes one. Finally, you can expect to go through this all over again: 80% of organizations who pay a ransom experience another ransomware attack.

What can you do to prevent ransomware attacks?

     First, target phishing, which causes 70% of data breaches. Train employees to spot phishing scams, and to not open emails or click on attachments or links from unsolicited emails. Use software to scan all emails and filter potentially malicious attachments and links.

     Second, keep firewalls and detection software for end-user devices (laptops, computers, and mobile devices; “endpoints”) up-to-date. 

     Third, use two-factor authentication to strengthen passwords, prevent overuse, and end sharing.

     Fourth. Ensure you have secure, offsite backups of important, sensitive data and systems. Limit access to them; they are often targeted by ransomware gangs. 

Overwhelmed? Let NSC Information Technology Group help. We can teach your employees about cyber security best practices, including how to distinguish between safe and unsafe links and attachments. We will help you to establish a best-practices approach to passwords, firewalls, endpoint security, and email security solutions. We can also help you establish a backup and disaster recovery plan for the worst-case scenario. We can help lower the risk of exposure for you—and your customers—to ransomware attacks.

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