Categories
Ransomware Protection

How To Implement the Right Ransomware Protection for Your Business

Tips from Sieve Networks

You’re 5 minutes away from pressing ‘send’ on an email about a complicated deal for millions of dollars when your computer screen goes dark. As you try to determine what happened, the screen comes to life. But instead of seeing your email, the screen shows red, with a timeclock and a warning that you’ll lose your files unless you pay a ransom.

Without ransomware protection, your company’s operating system is vulnerable to this costly cyberthreat, and the frequency of the ransomware scheme is growing. Globally, ransomware attacks are forecast to cost companies $20 billion by 2021, a 57 percent increase in 6 years.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that infects computers, workstations, and mobile devices. The malware ‘takes control’ of your operating system, restricting access to files and threatening data destruction unless you or your company meet payment demands.

Cybercriminals deliver ransomware with several approaches:

  • An email phishing scheme that tricks you into clicking on a link or downloading an attachment.
  • An ‘exploit kit’ with code on what seems like a legitimate website will redirect to a malicious site. The drive-by or exploit attacks hide code within games, cheat codes, or other ‘free’ software.

Ransomware targets all industries, but a recent report showed that hardest-hit sectors include small businesses and healthcare.

How Does Ransomware Affect Your Business?

The immediate and long-term effects of ransomware depend upon your company’s size, industry, and ransom amount demanded by the cybercriminals.

Beyond the financial impact of paying a ransom, often in thousands of dollars, businesses face several negative side-effects:

  • Business slowdown as your operation halts until you pay the ransom
  • Disruption after the attack as your team struggles to regain momentum and get back to business
  • Lost or damaged data, files, or systems, even if your company pays the ransom
  • Erosion in customer trust of your ability to avoid (or thwart) cyber attackers

Unfortunately, ransomware is quickly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Criminals will:

  • Look for vulnerabilities like weak passwords to easily hack remote user protocols
  • Try to steal credentials for system access
  • Move around corporate networks to infect as many PCs as possible within an organization

Preventative Measures and Ransomware Protection

An integrated plan that addresses your IT systems, employee training, and software solutions is essential for preventing ransomware and protecting your business.

  • IT System Security

If your company hasn’t modernized the IT architecture, you may be an easy target for ransomware.

  • Work with your team to identify any vulnerable servers or systems, paying close attention to remote connections.
    • Use unique, strong credentials and two-factor authentication for added security.
    • Segment networks to prevent a compromised workstation from leading to a network takeover.
    • Monitor domain controllers for unusual access and have a response plan in place.
    • If your organization relies on a managed security service provider, request two-factor authentication and a log of activities. You may want to limit access to only those networks and systems required for the third party to deliver the expected service.
  • Employee Training

In addition to hiring IT staff with expertise in responding to cyber threats, regular training for your teams is vital.

  • Communicate about how to recognize phishing emails and to question any unsolicited emails that contain links or attachments.
    • Give teams access to a unique email address where they can safely forward suspicious emails.
    • Encourage cyber ‘hygiene’ such as creating unique, strong passwords and protecting logon credentials.
  • Software Solutions

Anti-malware is a critical element of ransomware protection. Companies such as Sieve Networks also offer cloud-based backup systems to prevent data loss or restore compromised data. Strong ransomware protection will have features that:

  • Recognize and remove the malware on sight or by monitoring access behaviors
    • Prevent unauthorized access to common or shared locations
    • Quarantine suspicious emails or attempted file encryptions

For more information about preventing or responding to a ransomware attack, read recommendations from the IC3 and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

You can also call Sieve Networks to learn more about ransomware protection for your business. As we discuss your concerns and needs, our team will put more than a decade of cybersecurity experience to work for you. Contact us or call 414-238-2110 to set up a convenient time to talk.

Categories
IT Security

Security Misconfiguration amidst Covid-19

The global pandemic has hit the earth quite like a wrecking ball, adversely affecting people and businesses. The pandemic has compelled many people to work from home, which has a bitter/sweet impact on the workers and businesses. This transition has caused I.T Security to work overtime and build a network that allows organizations to carry out their functions as if they were working out of the main office.

What is security Misconfiguration?

Security misconfigurations occur when security settings aren’t distinct, implemented, and default values are maintained. This usually means when security standards don’t adhere to industry security standards; it generates a pathway for hackers to slide into the applications, websites, web portals, desktops, etc., past the I.T security system.

How has Security Misconfiguration increased?

There’s a proverb, “Bad guys thrive in chaos,” Thus, the pandemic has made it challenging to keep the network secure from hackers. Moreover, the pandemic has given rise to the necessity of businesses to access cloud services. Recent data released by Microsoft reported that a mammoth of 775% increased its cloud services usage due to the pandemic.  Unfortunately, I.T security safeguards have been bypassed during the configuration of web applications, networks, and cloud, whether due to speed, misinterpretation, or plain human error. These security loopholes cause grave risks further down the road and potential reputational damage. 

Here are the common misconfigurations: 

  • An unpatched system
  • A Default/ out of the box account settings (i.e., usernames and passwords)
  • Unencrypted files
  • Old and out of dated web applications
  • Unsecured portals and devices
  • Web application and cloud misconfiguration
  • Inadequate firewall protection

How does Sieve Networks help? 

We at Sieve Networks feature vulnerability assessment for your business’s entire technology mass, generate security controls and processes the foremost complex environments that change from a network, wireless, web application to a hybrid cloud.

The I.T security has been built by ethical hacking; we imprint a security-first culture in your business through our maximum coverage, so no stone is left unturned. We use a closely controlled and repeatable practice by automating the configuration change process. By diminishing manual efforts and thus the unavoidable errors they carry, I.T Security can considerably lessen instances of misconfigurations that accidentally expose vulnerabilities, leaving important data exposed to the preys.

Sieve Network; aspire to grow by providing quality services to our clients, with assured unbiased services and cost-effective and scalable solutions. 

Drop us an email at [email protected] or Call on 414.238.2110 

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