Cybercrime is on the rise and in 2016, incidents became commonplace. There is a good possibility it has already affected your business, halting production and bringing your offices and manufacturing facility to a standstill.
For today’s companies, falling victim to one of these attacks is no longer a question of “if” but “when.”
So what are the main threats and what can you do to combat them?
This guide contains practical advice and easy tips for training employees on cybersecurity and industry best practices with real-world examples. We also outline the essential solutions, designed to help today’s businesses defend against and recover from a cybersecurity incident.
The Big One: Ransomware
Ransomware is malware for ‘data kidnapping’, an exploit in which the attacker encrypts the victim’s data rendering it inaccessible and demands payment for the decryption key. The malware can encrypt data across a computer network, attacking servers that the victim accesses data from and rendering them inaccessible, not just to the victim but anyone on the network.
How is Ransomware Spread?
Email is the most common method for distributing ransomware. It is spread using some form of social engineering; victims are tricked into downloading an e-mail attachment or clicking a link. Fake email messages might appear to be a note from a friend or colleague asking a user to check out an attached file, for example. Or, email might come from a trusted institution (such as a bank) asking you to perform a routine task. Sometimes, ransomware uses scare tactics such as claiming that the computer has been used for illegal activities to coerce victims. Once the user takes action, the malware installs itself on the system and begins encrypting files. It can happen in the blink of an eye with a single click and is not normally noticeable until an attempt is made to access data on the victim’s computer or network server.
Ransomware By the Numbers
In a study by the security company Malwarebytes that surveyed 540 UK companies, they found the following results:
User Awareness Training
According to over 1,000 IT service providers, the lack of cybersecurity awareness amongst employees is the leading cause of successful ransomware attacks against an SMB. Employee training is a top component of a successful cybersecurity protection program.
We offer user awareness training packages which will help your business lower the risk of a cyber-attack by teaching your employees the following:
- What is a cyber-attack?
- What is social engineering?
- What are the most common forms of cyber attack?
- How do I identify a phishing attack?
- What are the most common forms of a phishing attack?
- What should I do if I suspect I have opened a virus?
- Cyber protection best practices
Phishing is the leading tactic leveraged by today’s ransomware hackers, typically delivered in the form of an email, chat, web ad or website designed to impersonate a real system and organization.
Phishing Simulation allows us to provide some safe yet disguised emails to your employees in an attempt to discover how susceptible your business may be to a cyber-attack through lack of employee awareness. The main benefits of performing a phishing simulation are:
- Identify the issues – Is it an internal awareness problem, a problem with first line defence technology, internal policy issues or the lack of an incident response plan?
- It increases specific awareness of the phishing and spear phishing threat. When workers fall for a simulated attack, they become more aware of the real threat and more receptive to the message from IT security.
- It provides security training metrics. Simulated attacks allow you to track the effectiveness of your security training over time and to target the areas or people that most need additional training.
- It helps to focus both the company and the security staff on user behaviour and how to turn that weak link into a strength. People can be a weak link in the security chain when it comes to social engineering attacks. Running simulated attacks can help you develop a balance between spending on technology and spending on security training.
- Allows for continued learning over long periods of time through randomised scheduling.
- Gives increased awareness over different forms of phishing such as spear phishing, whaling, spoofing and baiting.
For maximum effectiveness, phishing simulation should combine user awareness training program.
Backup and Recovery Solution
The #1 Solution for Cybersecurity Protection:
Taking frequent backups of all data considered critical to your business is vital. The exact frequency of backups will vary based on your business’ specific needs. Traditionally, most companies took a daily backup, and for some businesses, this may still be suitable. However, today’s backup products are designed to make incremental copies of data throughout the day to minimise data loss.
When it comes to protecting against cyber-attacks, solutions that back up regularly allow you to restore data to a point in time before the breach occurred without losing all of the data created since the previous night’s backup. In a busy business environment, the recommendation is to back up your data every 15 minutes by using the correct product.
Given our years of experience with malware and cyber-attacks, the way you can guarantee that your business is protected and recoverable is by having a fully managed and working backup solution.
Some data protection products can take image-based backups that are stored in a virtual machine format—essentially a snapshot of the data, applications, and operating system. This service allows users to run applications from the backup copy. This functionality is referred to as instant recovery or recovery-in-place, it provides business continuity and is perfect for an ‘always on’ business environment.