After the WannaCry ransomware virus spread through 300,000 computers around the globe, much has been written and touted about what went wrong. The latest report shows North Korean cyber criminals are the culprits, but the saddest part of this story is many of the individuals and businesses that paid the ransom never received their data back.

Ransomware, if spread throughout the entire company, can cripple a business for days on end. Below are some key statistical observations about ransomware and the best solutions to keep it at bay within your organization, whether you have 5 or 5,000 employees.

Startling Statistics about Ransomware

  • Ransomware attacks increased 172% in the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015 and have gone up even more in 2017.
  • 60% of businesses that experience a data breach, cyberattack or disaster closed their business within 6 months of the incident happening.
  • 58% of attacked businesses pay the ransomware.
  • 34% were not able to recover their data and lost files that were paramount to their business.
  • 22% of businesses with less than 1,000 employees that experienced a ransomware attack in the last year had to stop business immediately.
  • 17% of businesses that experience a cyberattack have 25 hours or more of downtime.

Key Ways to Ward Off Cybercriminals

Upgrade to the latest Operating System

When your software is up-to-date, cybercriminals have a harder time cracking into the layers of security programming added to the operating system. Almost without exception, all data breaches and hacks were completed on older versions of the OS. WannaCry hacked into primarily Windows 97 computers.

The easiest way to handle this is to allow for automatic updates on your computer, tablet and smartphone.

Backup Data Everyday

It is important to complete three backups everyday – one onsite, one offsite and one in the cloud. This backup strategy allows for redundancy (in case one of the systems crashes) and ensures your data is accessible even during a ransomware attack. The worst-case scenario if your system is hacked, is you will lose one day’s worth of data.

Emails

Don’t Open Email Attachments or Hyperlinks

This is called phishing and is the way cybercriminals get into your network most of the time. Make sure your employees are trained about opening suspicious emails and remind them they should call or forward any suspicious emails to the IT or cybersecurity department for further examination.

Make sure Firewalls, Anti-Virus and Anti-Spam Email Software is Up-to-Date

With the right software and systems in place, these types of attacks are less likely to occur.

Only Access Websites with SSL Certificates

The days of SSL certification just for ecommerce sites is over. All websites should have SSL certificates today. Insist that all your vendors and partners install this certificate today.

Do Not Allow Use of Public Wi-Fi Systems

If your organization has employees that travel, issue them their own VPN that allows them to avoid use of public networks. Public networks are open and often have the lowest level of encryption available on their router.

Key Takeaways

You need to ensure your systems are up-to-date (including firewalls) and back up your data daily. Employees need to be trained on how to identify suspicious emails and have a process to report them to the IT department or cybersecurity company.

Obtain Peace of Mind with Shellproof Security

Protect your business, train your people and learn all about the best ways to prepare against a ransomware situation. Please contact us today at 212.887.1600 to learn more about the offerings we have that can help protect your business!