How To Protect Your Canadian Business From Ransomware Attacks

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Ransomware attacks are cyberware invasions in which malicious actors encrypt or block access to a victim’s computer system or data. Their objective is to demand a ransom in exchange for restoring admin capabilities. These malware typically enter a system through infected email attachments, malicious downloads, or network security vulnerabilities.

Cyberattacks can inflict serious harm on businesses, causing reputational damage, financial setbacks, and operational interruptions. As victims, companies often find themselves in a dilemma: deciding whether to pay the ransom or refuse, which could lead to permanent data loss. Worse, there are no guarantees that paying will result in data access restoration.

The following are some actionable strategies Canadian businesses can implement to protect their network system from ransomware attacks:

1. Regularly Back Up Data

Businesses can create duplicates of important files before storing them securely in a separate location. Opt for a combination of onsite and offsite backup solutions. Onsite backups offer quick access to data and are useful for immediate recovery. Meanwhile, offsite backups provide an extra layer of protection as they are not susceptible to on-premises attacks.

Backup solutions with versioning and retention capabilities are also beneficial for companies. Versioning allows IT managers to store multiple versions of files, enabling restoration to specific points in time. Meanwhile, retention policies ensure that backups are retained appropriately. Documentation also assists in quickly initiating the restoration process and makes the strategy replicable.

2. Update and Patch Systems

Regularly updating and patching addresses vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit to infiltrate systems and deploy viruses. Develop a systematic approach to manage patches effectively. This may involve establishing a process to identify, evaluate, and prioritize updates based on their relevance to business systems and applications.

In addition, prioritize patching for critical systems or software that handle sensitive data or have direct exposure to the Internet. These include operating systems, web browsers, email clients, and commonly targeted applications like office productivity suites and database management systems. Note that automation improves the patching process, reduces manual effort, and ensures that patches are applied consistently.

3. Implement Strong Access Controls

Businesses can enhance their security by using strong passwords, promoting multi-factor authentication (MFA) use, and limiting user privileges. For better security, it helps to disable default or generic accounts for regular operations. These accounts often have well-known usernames and passwords, making them easy targets for attackers.

4. Use Reliable Security Software

Deploying reputable antivirus and anti-malware solutions is critical to effectively detecting and preventing infections. Regularly update your security software to stay protected against the latest threats. Software updates often include new virus definitions, detection algorithms, and security patches that address emerging risks. Real-time scanning also actively monitors files, applications, and incoming data.

5. Employ Network Segmentation

Ransomware often relies on lateral movement within a network to propagate and infect systems. Network segmentation involves dividing a network into multiple subnetworks or segments based on factors such as function, department, or security requirements. It works like a firewall that contains an attack in a single segment and prevents it from spreading throughout the system.

6. Develop an Incident Response Plan

Designate a team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for handling malware incidents. This should include IT, security, legal, communications, and management representatives. Then, prepare step-by-step procedures to be followed during a cyberattack. This should encompass initial detection, incident confirmation, and subsequent response actions.

Interface Technologies: Your Dependable IT Partner

Interface Technologies is an established and trusted managed IT services provider in Ontario. With our extensive experience and expertise, we offer a wide range of support services to cater to diverse IT needs – from protecting our clients from hackers to providing dependable backup solutions and everything in between. Our primary objective is to empower businesses by providing reliable and efficient IT infrastructure that optimize their operations.

Contact us today for more information or a free audit of your information technology!

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