In the year 2021, many businesses were subject to ransomware attack headlines due to costly malware attacks. There were many critical reasons why malware and malicious cyber activities increased during the pandemic times. One of the most obvious reasons for this rise in threat level has to do with remote work transition.
The Rise of Ransomware Attacks due to the Remote Work Model
Ever since the governments started issuing lockdown restrictions, organizations had no option but to support remote work. This gave rise to two different sets of organizations, the first were ones that already had remote work policies, supporting infrastructure and workflow in place.
This meant that they only had to scale that framework a little higher to support their operations. Overall, these enterprises fared well regarding malware threats and ransomware attacks since they were able to integrate proper gates, controls and also migrations to the cloud.
On the other hand, organizations that did not have a proper remote work setup suffered the most. This is because they were provided a very short amount of time to adapt to the new work model. To keep up with the rest of the industry, companies such as these were unable to fill security gaps after remote work transition.
This is a critical reason why so many enterprises were subject to data breach and ransomware attacks. With the rise in remote work, most employees are using their personal devices to access their enterprise networks.
Personal machines and desktops do not have typical standard protection for malware usually. This was also a major contributing factor to increased ransomware attacks. When there are security gaps in your system, then hackers will look for them and exploit them for their own benefit.
Shift in Ransomware Attacks
Just like the shift in workflow models, there has also been a shift in ransomware attacks as well. From being just a threat of access lockdown, ransomware threats have also provided threat of releasing confidential data to the public. This has forced enterprises to pay more ransom which encourages malicious attackers to execute more attacks on organizations.
The cyber mafia today works in a very sophisticated manner. Their techniques are becoming more technical and meticulous every day. If you are not keeping up to speed with the latest trends, the chances are high that you might become a target. In the current world, ransomware is a service that developers create as software packages.
These have a high chance of penetration success with low discovery. It provides malicious actors with proven tactics to execute their attacks. Like any subscription software, it provides perpetrators to pay a monthly fee and carry out malicious activity. This means that you do not need to be tech-savvy in order to carry out malicious activity.
User Awareness and Education
Fortunately for businesses, you can now find many tools for enterprises and organizations to support learning management. Another critical missing piece that is noticeable in businesses today is education about ransomware activities to workers, along with recurring meetings and sessions to ensure awareness.
The major way that a ransomware attack happens is through downloading a corrupt link from a phishing email. A phishing email refers to a deceptive email that has falsified information related to your business. Employees and business representatives will often fall victim to these emails and unknowingly let ransomware attack penetrate their interface and corrupt data.
One of the things that businesses can do is train their employees to identify phishing emails. This will ensure that they are not downloading or installing emails that contain ransomware material. Another important thing that can help against these threats is back-up. Hence, if some part of the data is really critical to the business, it is best to keep back-ups of it on third party devices outside work premise.
The most typical challenges for businesses have been the lack of ability to identify blind spots. Most businesses only focus on the general checklist such as spam filters, emails, scans and others. However, malicious activities today are more geared towards exploiting gaps that enterprises miss out on.
For instance, businesses and workers are now more dependent on the internet of things products. These IoT devices and other third-party integrations offer bad actors an access point to valuable data. This is why it is critical for businesses to incorporate a second set of eyes to cover these blind spots.
This will involve hiring a third-party service carry forth a complete inspection of their architectural security setup. Doing so will help organizations to carry out a discovery and assessment plan which help determine cybersecurity strategies.
According to the IBM security report, companies that have been late with cloud migration have had to face cyber security costs. Cloud migration virtualizes a business’s infrastructure into a single platform. This platform is surveyed, secured and streamlined by a third-party moderator. Cloud migration not only helps equip business operations with the best technical protection but also makes operations more efficient.
Along with making operations more efficient and smooth, it also makes procedures more cost-effective for businesses. Thus, one of the best safety measures in the face of sophisticated malware threats is cloud protection. It is single-handedly the future of cyber security. Cloud security allows businesses to impose a shared responsibility for protection that is between you and the cloud provider.
Ransomware is a significant threat for small businesses. This is because the small businesses do not tend to have the same security precautions that a large firm will have. If you get attacked by the ransomware, paying the ransom may not be the solution. Even after paying the ransom, the perpetrators may even keep hold of all the data since it is in their control.
To avoid the drastic impacts of ransomware, Cloud-based services such as VAST can be pivotal. They can help optimize security and efficiency for small businesses, which will help them scale as a result. Vast incorporates high-end solutions to data protection and management with the help of cloud migration.