Despite the technological advances over the last decade, ransomware continues to be one of the most popular cyberattack options used by cybercriminals. Why? It’s because infecting databases with ransomware is still incredibly easy to distribute and stunningly effective.
Like many other forms of malware, ransomware tends to prey on organizations that are unprepared for such cybersecurity threats. Fortunately, there are many precautions that your organization, particularly your cybersecurity team, can take to minimize the risk of a ransomware attack:
Provide Regular Preventive Training for Your Organization
Ransomware is often implanted via phishing emails sent to employees. There have even been some instances where top level executives became victims of phishing emails. As such, it is important to provide regular safeguard training for the entire organization from top to bottom. It may also be a good idea to periodically perform “test phishing emails” to see if employees are able to spot phishing emails and follow proper cybersecurity protocols.
Of course, phishing emails are only one way cybercriminals infect systems. Your cybersecurity team should also cover other methods such as drive-by downloading and malicious links spread through social media.
Adopt Proactive Monitoring Systems/Software
For the most part, most organizations will have security software in place that helps fend off cyberattacks. However, these systems tend to be reactive, i.e. they only work when the threat is already present.
Adopting proactive monitoring systems, such as file activity monitoring (FAM) solutions, allows your cybersecurity team to be more proactive in your organization’s efforts. One way FAMs help keep your cybersecurity proactive is by providing real-time and historical records of all file and folder activity within your organization’s connected network. In turn, this allows your team to quarantine infected users and/or devices in real-time, so you can block and investigate ransomware activities.
Enforce Principle of Least Privilege Seriously
In a large corporation, allowing all employees to access the organization’s entire database is a significant security risk. Such a scenario is similar to trying to keep burglars out of a home with a hundred thousand doors.
Simply put, not everyone needs access to every single piece of information in your database, regardless of how “efficient” you might think of this setup. Segmenting your organization and restricting access helps reduce potential entry points for data breaches and cyberattacks. Similarly, this provides extra layers of security that any form of cyberattack must get through, giving your cybersecurity team more time to address threats.
Keep Your Cybersecurity Team’s Training Up-To-Date
Though the concept of ransomware isn’t anything new, cybercriminals are inventing new forms of ransomware and cyberattack methods. With these threats becoming more sophisticated, it is important to make sure that your cybersecurity team’s training is up-to-date. Given this, it’s generally good practice to have your cybersecurity go through regular training or even take certification courses like Microsoft Future Ready Certification Course: Cybersecurity. Remember: the more familiar your cybersecurity team is with the methods used by cybercriminals, the better your team is capable of preventing and detecting threats early.