From Panera Bread to the Colorado State Public Defender’s office, ransomware hits often and hits hard.  Do you feel like your business has the cybersecurity it needs to stay off the growing lists of cyberattack victims? No industry or business size is immune, which means these digital threats are everyone’s responsibility. Here are a few of the most important security best practices you need to keep cybercriminals out.

What Are Modern Cybercriminals Using to Hurt Your Business?

Cybercriminals are using a variety of sophisticated tactics and digital threats to target businesses and extort money. Some of the most common methods include:

  • Phishing Emails: These fraudulent emails often appear as legitimate messages from trusted sources, tricking employees into clicking malicious links or providing sensitive information.
  • Malware: This term encompasses a wide range of software designed to harm or gain unauthorized access to computer systems, including ransomware.
  • Exploit Kits: These are programs specifically designed to find vulnerabilities in software and exploit them for malicious purposes.
  • Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) Breaches: RDP is commonly used for remote access to computers, but it can also be a weak point for cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access.

2023 was a record-breaking year for ransomware attacks, with over $1 billion in damages paid out. This number is only expected to increase as cybercriminals continue to evolve their tactics and digital threats.

The Best Practices to Protect Against Digital Threats

Regular Data Backups

One of the most effective defenses against ransomware is ensuring that your data is regularly backed up. Here are some best practices for data backup:

  • Regular and Automated Backups: Automate your backup processes to ensure that data is consistently backed up without manual intervention.
  • Use of Offline or Cloud Backups: Keep your backups offline or in the cloud, away from your primary network, to protect them from ransomware attacks.
  • Testing Backup Integrity and Restoration Procedures: Regularly test your backups to ensure they can be restored quickly and effectively in the event of data loss.

Employee Training and Awareness

Educating your employees about the dangers of ransomware and how to recognize potential threats is crucial. Effective training should cover:

  • Recognizing Phishing Attempts and Suspicious Emails: Teach employees to identify the signs of phishing emails that may carry ransomware.
  • Avoiding Clicking on Unknown Links or Attachments: Employees should be cautious about clicking on links or downloading attachments from unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Reporting Any Unusual Computer Behavior Promptly: Early detection can prevent the spread of ransomware, so encourage employees to report anything unusual.

Implement Robust Endpoint Security

Ensuring that all endpoints are secured is vital to preventing ransomware attacks. This includes:

  • Installation of Reliable Antivirus and Anti-malware Software: Invest in reputable security software to detect and neutralize threats.
  • Regular Software Updates and Patch Management: Keep all systems and software up to date to protect against vulnerabilities that hackers could exploit.

Have an Incident Response Plan

Having a clear, documented incident response plan in place can significantly reduce the damage caused by a ransomware attack. Your plan should include:

  • Designation of Incident Response Team Roles and Responsibilities: Assign specific roles and responsibilities to deal with any incidents.
  • Creation of a Step-by-Step Response Process: Develop a systematic process for responding to and containing incidents.
  • Regular Testing and Updating of the Plan: Ensure your plan stays effective by regularly testing and refining it.

Collaborate with Security Experts

For many small and medium-sized businesses, managing cybersecurity in-house can be a challenge. Partnering with cybersecurity professionals, like those at ISG Technology, offers several advantages. External experts can provide the latest in security measures, threat intelligence, and response strategies to keep your business protected.

You’re Not Alone in the Fight Against Data Loss

The threat of ransomware is real and growing, but it’s not insurmountable. By implementing these best practices, you can safeguard your business against digital threats and ensure you’re not the next headline. For businesses looking to strengthen their cybersecurity posture further, partnering with experts like ISG Technology can provide peace of mind and a higher level of protection.

Take the first step towards securing your business today. Contact  ISG Technology today for a consultation and learn how we can help protect your enterprise from digital threats.