It is becoming an increasing problem: ransomware. One company after another has to deal with ‘kidnapped’ files, which are often leaked. It recently happened at the game studio behind Marvel’s Wolverine, for example. But what can you do as a company to prevent it as much as possible? Fortunately, there are solutions.
When you think about information security, antivirus software is often what comes to mind. Of course, antivirus software is also very important, as it constantly scans the network for intruders. What is required of this varies per sector. For example, in healthcare, for example, very different things are important than in, for example, an organization that creates software for B2B customers. In healthcare you deal with very sensitive information about people. In fact, a recent ransomware attack in Germany even forced the postponement of certain essential operations. You want to avoid that at all costs.
Ransomware has increased enormously in use. This involves installing malware on a computer, smartphone or tablet that then holds certain files hostage. The only way to regain access is to pay the hackers money (if they release it at all). It is becoming increasingly common and, sometimes even after companies have paid, important data is thrown out onto the street. Confidential information, for example, such as personal information or information about a still secret, new product.
Employees are your best security
Software is an important factor in the world of information security. However, there is a more important asset when it comes to ransomware: your employees. They form a chain around your business processes and information and are therefore the front line against the attack. If one of the employees clicks on a phishing link, the chain breaks and ransomware can gain access to your systems. That is why it is important as a company involve and activate employees.
Particularly because many employees are ashamed when they fall for a hacker’s trick and may not report it, it may happen that as a company you do not know until late that an attack is underway. Making employees aware not only of the cause, but also of the effect is very important. By offering courses you increase awareness and hopefully remove the shame if an employee makes a mistake. But, and you certainly hope so, employees learn not to click on such a link in the first place. Awareness is the ultimate weapon against ransomware and you can only achieve this by regularly informing your employees about what it is, what the risks are, how to report it and that you do not have to be ashamed.
Software as a weapon to support and prevent ransomware attacks
As a company, do you really want to do everything you can to prevent attacks? Then there are other options you can arm yourself with. For example, you can also use your risk management use software for this.
Your first line of defense in the field of software will of course remain antivirus software, but if ransomware is one of your business risks, you can use risk management software in addition to your antivirus software to identify and analyze this risk and develop and implement appropriate control measures. Such a control measure could, for example, consist of offering an internal course or workshop for employees, which provides guidance on how to better deal with the dangers and consequences of ransomware.
So, by combining software, you can protect your business both reactively and proactively. This not only prevents problems when you are attacked; you reduce the risk of potentially serious consequences in the future.
It’s a lot of work, but if it’s done well, your company will be much more resistant to misery that will ultimately require a lot of work. Good luck!
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