2020 was a tough year on many fronts. As far as cybersecurity, it was a volatile year in which the number of ransomware-related breaches more than doubled according to a recent report.
In fact, ransomware is now responsible for 46% of healthcare data breaches and more than 35% of all breaches are linked to ransomware attacks. Worst yet, the average ransomware attack can cost a company an average of $713,000 per incident or more when you factor in the expense of downtime and lost business due to reputational harm.
Data breaches are in the headlines every day so we know that ransomware attacks are not going away any time soon. The question is: What can we do about it?
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Here are some basic yet effective tips to minimize ransomware risk:
- Be Prepared.
“Don’t depend on the enemy not coming; depend rather on being ready for him.” While ransomware is a relatively new threat, Suz Tzu ancient advise still rings true. According to analysts, ransomware attacks will only increase. That is my it is important that we invest in our cybersecurity awareness programs to foster a culture of vigilance.
- Back it UP!
One of the most effective ways to limit the impact of a ransomware attack is to not forget the value of backups. Simply stated, if you have no backups your defenses are weak. As a good practice, Network segmentation and constant monitoring are critical.
- Pick a standard.
Whether it is the NIST Risk Management Framework in the United States or the guidelines set out by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), it is a good idea to align one’s practice with a recognized authoritative source.
The bottom line is that the term ransomware will continue to appear in the headlines so it is up to us to prepare and stay vigilant. By putting these tips to action and investing in cybersecurity awareness we will at least be able to minimize the impact of a ransomware attack.