The surge in ransomware attacks is at an alarming pace. There has not been a sector that hasn’t fallen victim to ransomware attacks.
With ransomeware, there is a tendency to simply pay up and regard it as an operational cost of doing business. This is often the worst strategy, swift payment empower’s criminals to continue targeting organizations.
Paying up may often be the only option for many organizations, especially those who have not adequately prepared, but organizations should beware that it is not uncommon to pay the ransom and still not reclaim your data or access to your systems. Swift payment is often enacted by executives who don’t really understand the true extent of the breach on their system or the damage it’s causing, much less what might be required to regain control and operational normality again.
The best defense
When dealing with a loss of data, providing the concern is not that sensitive information will be leaked then the best weapon in your armory is to have an effective system of backing up your data. Often the best chance organizations have of beating the ransom demands of attackers is to understand the importance of time, the speed with which systems and data can be recovered.
To do this well requires effective and thorough planning, with a good first step being to conduct a thorough audit of the data and apps used across your IT systems and attempt to order them according to their priority to your business. This will be crucial if an attack is made as it will allow you to focus on the parts of your system that need to be restored first to ensure business continuity.
You should be aiming to ensure that your backups are both comprehensive and robust, especially with where remote work has become the new normal. The best practice here will be having backup copies of your data, stored across three different areas, with one copy kept off-site. This offsite backup should be isolated from your business network to help protect against ransomware.
As data is increasingly the lifeblood of modern businesses, it’s vital that backups are made on a regular basis to ensure there is a minimal lag between what is contained in the backup and the current state of your data. The frequency of data backup is especially important for off-site backups, and if the risk of attack is high then more frequent backups might be a sensible precaution.
Your process and program should be tested to ensure that they are effective. Organizations should simulate an attack to put their processes through their paces and examine how quickly they can regain control.
While ransomware attacks continue to rise, there is no reason why organizations should be held captive.
Reliable backups offer a fast and effective way of minimizing the risk and fallout of any attacks that are made.