Unfortunately, when it comes to protecting your business assets and preserving your bottom line, preventing and mitigating the potentially catastrophic damage from a ransomware attack have become routine. To complicate things further, cybercriminal attacks grow more sophisticated with the day, while keeping up with the latest cyber threats is a challenge, to say the very least.
Organizations that rely too heavily on a small internal IT department that lacks the up-to-date and specialized knowledge to defend against an advanced cyber attack put themselves at substantial risk of losing their core business data and damaging a hard-earned brand reputation that took years to develop. Moreover, a company poorly protected from ransomware attacks faces one of the worst-case information security scenarios conceivable. Successful ransomware attacks can be tremendously difficult to resolve because the logistical issues they create are often widespread and can linger on, impacting areas of your business you may not have even previously considered.
More often than not, small businesses that fail to protect themselves against ransomware will encounter no other option than to pay the ransom and hope a cybercriminal (or group of them) releases their critical business data. And if the company is unprepared to handle such an incident, expect any ad hoc recovery attempt to be unreliable and certainly not guaranteed. To help you combat this very issue, the cybersecurity specialists at PCH technologies have put together the following list of three critical factors to consider when recovering from a ransomware attack.
If you operate a data-intensive business environment, implementing a multi-layered security strategy that incorporates file encryption, data loss prevention (DLP) software, personal firewalls, and anti-malware protection is the key to protecting your endpoints and digital infrastructure against sophisticated cyber threats. While no single cybersecurity strategy is foolproof, backing up your data is crucial. Backups are usually the most reliable approach for minimizing the damage of a successful ransomware attack and getting your operations back online as soon as possible.
Let’s take a more detailed look at the three best practices for restoring your networks and digital environment to their normal use in the shortest amount of time:
1. Develop an effective cybersecurity strategy and implement it
Growing companies often place business continuity and cybersecurity on the back burner or, at best, have only partially implemented their information protection strategies. With this in mind, the most effective way to stop a ransomware attack is by preventing it from ever being installed on your systems in the first place. The trouble is, if there were a one-size-fits-all solution for total prevention, the threats would be neutralized and the cybersecurity industry wouldn’t exist.
The best approach is to fully comprehend your systems and their vulnerabilities along with any potentially targeted data you control. The next step is to determine how ransomware might invade your digital environment. Beginning your information security strategy in this way is effective because it helps you develop the scope of your protection and determine precisely how much essential business data you should store.
A robust business continuity plan should always include cybersecurity protection. A careful analysis of your mission-critical data is the simplest way to begin developing a ransomware recovery strategy. Data-driven business environments are complex, which is why it’s vital to know where you store your essential information. If you deal with inventory systems, familiarize yourself with which processes entail sensitive data. Understanding how and where this information flows will help you determine which systems carry the most risk of disrupting your operations.
Once you’ve identified the risks, you can start to manage and apply your security controls based on your findings. Remember that even after implementing a series of well-designed protection measures, the landscape for cyber threats will continue to evolve. This means you’ll need to proactively monitor your information security plan for effectiveness and introduce new controls as knowledge of the latest threats against your industry emerge. Lastly, ensure your employees are clear on established cybersecurity policies by initiating an ongoing cybersecurity training and awareness program.
2. Invest in strengthening your network security
Too often, business owners perceive cybersecurity as a non-revenue generating activity. While this might be technically true, knowing the cost tradeoffs of investing in data loss protection software and other ransomware recovery services against a potentially catastrophic loss of critical business information and the resulting impact on your brand reputation. Recent surveys show that more than half of respondents from experienced security operations centers struggled to detect advanced or emergent threats with which they had no prior experience.
Securing your network first is among the best ways to safeguard yourself against ransomware attacks. When you implement the right combination of technology and best practices, you put yourself in the strongest position to protect your sensitive information and IT infrastructure. As previously stated, aim for a multifaceted cyber protection plan that proactively maintains your systems through continual monitoring, routine updates, and relevant patching. Certified third-party agencies like PCH Technologies are highly effective at helping companies identify an attempted ransomware attack before it spreads and impacts other areas of their operations.
3. Back up your critical data
While we foreshadow the importance of backing up your essential business data at the forefront, developing an effective strategy for doing so can’t be emphasized enough. Ransomeware attacks are not singular incidents. Instead, they’re progressive hacks that work on your systems over time, often in ways that you may not immediately observe. Ransomware runs in the background as it picks up on your backup routines.
The best way to protect your company from a cyber threat like this is to maintain consistent backups of your critical data in offsite locations. Backups should form the basis of your disaster recovery strategy and a large part of your broader business continuity plan covering these procedures. The snapshot approach to backing your data up, however, is unreliable. When you replicate the snapshot, the source has already been corrupted. It is therefore crucial to maintain a preserved version of your data from the previous recovery points in a secure location away from your primary business site.
Finding the right ransomware recovery service
While there are a lot of ransomware data recovery services to choose from, not all of them are run by experts in cybersecurity. To learn more about cyber risk assessment and disaster recovery services from PCH Technologies, book your free discovery call online or call us now at (856) 754-7500.