5 Things Cincinnati Businesses Need To Do To Protect Themselves From A Ransomware Attack In 2022
Ransomware is undoubtedly one of the most significant cyber threats facing businesses and organizations across the world today. So far, 2021 is emerging as the most costly and devastating year on record for the volume of Ransomware attacks on US businesses and organizations. Recent studies estimate that monthly ransomware transactions in 2021 hit a high of $102.3 million. This amount is expected to rise in 2022 if nothing is done to reverse the trend.
For businesses in the Cincinnati area, now is the best time to take appropriate steps to protect their investment from cyberattacks. To get you started, the experts from 4BIS.COM have outlined five crucial things that Cincinnati Businesses need to implement today to protect their environments.
Five Tips to Help You Thwart Ransomware Attacks in 2022
In 2022, one of the integral cybersecurity defense components that Cincinnati businesses need to prioritize is application whitelisting. Application whitelisting is a program that allows administrators to have a firm control on the type of programs to be permitted to run on a user’s machine or network rather than leaving this control to the end-users. In a nutshell, application whitelisting is a more proactive approach that enables only preapproved and specified programs to run on company devices. Any other program not on the whitelist is automatically blocked from running.
The most important use of application whitelisting is to prevent malware from infiltrating and executing on endpoints leveraging a network. When implementing a whitelisting program, the first step is to determine the needed applications on the computers. After creating the list, any other new program will require admin approval before loading and running. Applications will also need whitelisting before connecting to the internet if that is not their primary role. For example, a command-line software such as PowerShell will be blocked from connecting to the internet, so it runs scripts. This makes it quite difficult for actors to execute their plan should they access your systems.
Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Multifactor authentication is undeniably the buzzword in today’s cybersecurity world. A 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report reveals stolen login credentials are one of the most utilized tactics by hackers to perform data breaches. Unlike typical usernames and passwords, MFA requires digital users to provide at least two pieces of evidence to prove they are who they say they are. Each piece of evidence comes from different sources, for example, a password you know, and a code sent to your phone. Should one of the factors be compromised by a hacker, the chances of another factor being hacked are always low.
In 2022, every business in Cincinnati should ensure they have MFA on every system used by their employees. At the minimum multifactor authentication should be running on your Office 365 environment and VPN. You should also have it run on any component containing your crucial personal identifiable information or sensitive financial documents. In essence, access to your financial server or CRM application should have MFA running. Since it has become such a powerful tool against cyber-attacks, the experts at 4BIS.COM predict MFA will soon be a mandatory requirement to log in to all enterprise computers in the next round of cyber insurance renewals.
Ongoing Detection and Monitoring
Persistent threat detection and monitoring of systems for indicators of compromise can help thwart data breaches before they impact your business. Ideally, once a hacker has gained access to the system, the first thing they do is make sure they get access to that computer for as long as possible. In the cybersecurity world, this process is called persistence, and seasoned hackers have perfected it well. Implementing a persistent threat detection system makes sure your network stays clean and free from malware. The persistent threat detection system is designed to carry out scheduled periodic scanning of the IOC’s endpoint.
In 2022, your systems need to stay updated at all times. Because vulnerabilities evolve every day, systems need to be patched rapidly to reduce the risks of cyberattacks. This means you require a reliable patch management procedure that includes both the operating system and all the leveraging applications.
A well-implemented patch management strategy fixes vulnerabilities on your software and applications that cybercriminals could exploit to carry out devastating attacks. An effective automated patch management solution eliminates holes that hackers usually leverage to exploit your environment, making it harder for the actors to move laterally should they access your network. Typical areas that need patches include operating systems, applications, and embedded systems. The following are some of the critical reasons for patch management:
- Security: As mentioned earlier, patch management fixes vulnerabilities on your software and application susceptible to cyberattacks.
- System uptime: Patch management guarantees your software and applications are kept up to date and running smoothly.
- Compliance: With the rise of cyberattacks, organizations are today required by regulatory bodies to maintain a certain level of compliance. Patch management is a crucial piece of compliance standards.
Educate Your Employees
Typical human errors often lead to successful hacks or data breaches. Experts reveal that 95% of all cybersecurity breaches can be linked to human errors. Too often, businesses focus on other cybersecurity strategies and forget the most crucial component-the employees. Your employees serve as the first line of defense to thwart online threats. Trained and empowered workforce help stop malware from infiltrating into your IT systems and networks. Combining strong security programs with employee education on the latest trends and ways to combat cyber threats can help prevent ransomware attacks in 2022. At 4BIS.COM, we understand end-users need hands-on training to be made aware of the current trends in the industry and how hackers will target them. Our team of highly experienced cybersecurity experts will train your employees to recognize red flags and avoid clicking on suspicious links.
Get Help to Prevent Ransomware
Today Ransomware attacks are everywhere, from local government entities to large and small businesses. Although it is a simple type of malware, it is incredibly damaging. Once it gets into a system, the malware accesses and encrypts your files, making it hard to retrieve them without a decryption key. Because the ransomware operator is the only one with this key, victims are often forced to pay huge ransoms before they regain access to their resources.
Luckily, 90% of ransomware attacks are preventable. If you need help implementing any of the tips discussed above, don’t hesitate to contact 4BIS.COM. 4BIS.COM has been providing Cincinnati Businesses with reliable managed IT solutions for decades now. Contact us today to learn more.
Thanks to our friends at Velocity IT for their support and help with this article. Discover more at https://www.velocityit.net.