During a year when so many organizations underwent a digital transformation or pivot to a remote workforce, organizations across the globe saw more than a 62% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021. As more companies are adopting hybrid work models for the long haul, cybercriminals have adapted their strategies to target new security weaknesses that remote work brings.
A single cyber-attack can cost your organization not only its critical information, but millions of dollars. The good news is, there are ways to ensure that your name is not added to the growing list of cyber victims. Here are five measures you can take to protect and reduce your risk of a costly cyber-attack:
- Keep your software updated with the latest version
Many of the most harmful ransomware attacks stem from vulnerabilities in your most common applications, such as your internet browser or your computer’s operating system. When your systems or software aren’t fully up to date, you’re missing out on important security updates and virus protection that, without, can leave you at risk of a cyber-attack. It might be tempting to ignore that pop-up window reminding you that it’s time for an update, but in doing this, you are making it easier than ever for cyber criminals to steal your financial and personal data. For the best defense, ensure that you’ve turned on automatic system updates and never ignore update notifications. In doing this, you can help reduce your chances of a cyber-attack.
- Use multifactor authentication whenever possible
Traditional passwords are just not enough anymore. Multi Factor Authentication, (MFA) adds an additional layer of security and protection from hackers and cybercriminals. MFA requires not only your password, but an additional form of identity as well - such as a code sent to your cell phone or facial recognition. Most software companies and online applications are enhancing their default security systems to include MFA. Microsoft’s M365 software requires all users to use MFA with the Microsoft Authenticator app and have a secure phone number for further identity verification. Keeping security defaults enabled, and always using MFA, helps keep you and your data safe.
- Regularly back up your data
It’s essential you backup your data on a regular basis. In the chance of a cyber-attack or computer failure, your information can then be recovered and restored. Unsure of where or how to start? Our experts at ICS implement effective solutions that ensure your data is always safely backed up and available, no matter what. Learn more about ICS data backup and recovery solutions here.
- Train your team members on how to identify vulnerabilities & phishing scams
Don’t leave your employees vulnerable to phishing attacks and other common scams in 2022. At ICS we provide easy to understand cybersecurity training programs teaching you and your team how to spot a scam, and what to do when you notice suspicious activity. While we cover a range of common online attacks, our training focuses on phishing scams - one of the most successful tools cybercriminals use. We use simulated phishing emails and campaign-based phish simulations to ensure your team members know how to spot, avoid and report threats. Learn more about our Security and Awareness Training here.
- Get a cyber security partner to help monitor your business environments
Organizations who utilize third-party cyber security partners have a stronger defense against ransomware attacks and vulnerabilities. Xtended Detection & Response services from ICS are designed to ensure you have a reliable threat response plan and the right people to execute it, minimizing potential damages if an attack should occur. Learn more about ICS XDR Cybersecurity Services here.
Wrapping It All Together
As the world becomes increasingly digital and interconnected, we must protect the systems that we rely on as individuals and organizations. Ransomware attacks can come with a price tag that few are willing to pay and implications that can affect millions of people. Prevention is the key to reducing your risk and by taking a few moments to update your software, set up MFA, or contacting a third-party cyber security partner like ICS, your critical data will remain private and secure.