As more and more businesses become data-driven, they realize the value of data as a powerful business asset. Since business data serves rich insights that drive relevant decisions, there is a need to keep it secure from various kinds of malware attacks. All malware can damage the data and systems, but the threat from ransomware is perhaps the biggest concern for enterprises of all sizes.

Ransomware is a deadly cyber threat that attacks a computer by running executable code to encrypt all the key files on it. Once it does so, ransomware displays a “ransom” note on the system screen. The note asks the user to pay a certain amount in the form of digital currency and also sets a countdown for the payment (mostly 72 hours). The encrypted files are decrypted with a private key only once the user pays the ransom demanded.

Over the years, ransomware has become a critical concern for businesses as these attacks have grown on a global scale. Businesses are falling prey to hackers who want to hold their data captive and demand huge amounts to set it free. The problem is much bigger for enterprises than it is for individuals due to the large number of interconnected devices that share files and documents. The growing dependence on cloud networks makes things even more challenging. However, the threat is still surmountable if businesses take adequate measures to strengthen their security. Ransomware Protection for your data can be availed by taking the following measures.

1. Know your challenges

Dealing with your challenges becomes easier if you know them well enough. Start by figuring out the kind of ransomware that your business might have to deal with. Not all of them are same and they need to be resolved differently. Avail the help of expert cybersecurity professionals who are aware of owasp measures that can be taken and who have ample experience in resolving various types of data security issues for businesses.

2. Seal all the obvious points of malware entry

The most effective preventive measure that every organization should take is to seal all the obvious points of malware entry. In this context, it is advisable to deploy all the ongoing updates to the system. These updates include the latest releases of anti-virus software, browser software, browser plug-ins and operating system patches. Experts also recommend blocking the corporate emails which contain executable files. The business should also consider re-evaluation of security by performing periodic security audits.

3. Back up the business data in the cloud

While having a preventive strategy is important, it is equally vital to have a data recovery plan. Data recovery is your Plan B, which will come to your rescue if ransomware is able to make its way in despite the best efforts. The traditional data storage methods are no longer good enough as these are resource intensive and can impact the performance of the systems. The best approach is to store the data in the cloud, which ensures consistency, reliability and security of the data even in case of big disasters. If any unfortunate incident does occur, data can be recovered almost instantly, with a minimal possibility of loss.

4. Have data access protocols in place

One of the biggest threats to the business data comes from within as most of the organizations provide information access to its employees. With this, it becomes vital to ensure that data access is limited because employees may inadvertently expose it to ransomware while accessing it from a remote device that has been infected. A proper data access protocol should be enforced within the enterprise. Only the trusted employees should be authorized for system access and they should be strictly disallowed to share login information. Access should be taken away and password changed once an employee leaves the organization.

5. Know the difference between right and wrong

The cyberspace is a tricky place for businesses as you may come across viruses that present a fake appearance of virus protection. Always buy virus protection software of a reputed brand and ensure that you are not getting a counterfeited version. There are plenty of trustworthy sellers in the market and online. Buy enterprise-focused software that might be a little more expensive but is completely reliable.

Besides adopting these anti-ransomware practices, you should review the security strategy of your business on a periodic basis. Although the effort and expense might seem massive, it is always recommended to have a trusted cybersecurity partner for the job. Your business data is of great value and going an extra mile for securing it is a smart decision.