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Cybercrime is a growing, highly successful, and profitable industry that affects thousands of businesses each day, or 1 every 39 seconds. Cybercrime refers to crimes involving computers, also known as cyberattacks, such as ransomware, malware, and phishing.

Among this list, ransomware attacks have been significantly increasing. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ransomware attacks alone have increased by nearly 500%! What exactly is ransomware, what should every business owner know about it? We’ll cover the basics so that you can prepare your business and avoid a ransomware attack.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system, device, file or data until a sum of money is paid. Without the necessary precautions set in place, this could be devastating to businesses.

While ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated, they are preventable. Here are 5 ways in which you can prevent a ransomware attack on your business:

1- Do not open suspicious files or click on unsafe links

Ransomware can find its way to your device or computer system through links on unknown websites or attachments through your email. If you were to click on a malicious link or download a suspicious email attachment, this could start an automatic download of ransomware onto your device. When this happens, the ransomware gains access to your systems, devices, and data and holds it hostage until a sum is paid. Knowing how to spot these suspicious links or files is crucial to understand in order to prevent ransomware from happening. To help with this, we’ve created a list of 7 red flags to look out for, check it out.

2- Use only verified or trustworthy sites for downloads

Minimize the risk and guesswork of knowing whether a link or file is suspicious by using only trusted sites. Never download software or media files from suspicious sites. If you are unsure, it is better to avoid the source until you can find a secure and trusted source for your downloads.

3- Regularly update your programs and operating systems

Most programs and operating systems do a great job at reminding their users when an update is available. Updating your programs and operating systems regularly ensures that you are benefiting from the latest security patches and bug fixes, making it harder for cybercriminals to exploit your data.

4- Avoid disclosing personal information

Cybercriminals who are planning a ransomware attack may try to collect personal information about you to tailor phishing messages specifically to you. When this happens, it makes it harder to recognize suspicious links and files making it easier for hackers to gain access to your systems. Avoid disclosing personal information to untrusted sources through calls, texts, or emails.

5- Educate your team with the latest cybersecurity strategies

Knowing how to spot a ransomware attempt is your best defence! Ensure that your team understands what is at stake with a business’s cybersecurity. Highlight case studies to show your team how poor cyber habits cost other businesses and share examples of what an attempted cyberattack looks like. Ensuring your team is equipped with ransomware defence strategies can help avoid disaster. Call in a team of cybersecurity experts, attend cybersecurity webinars, or educate your team on your own.

Know What You’re Up Against

In addition to these five tips to defend against ransomware, it is important to consider other active methods such as anti-ransomware software. If you are looking for more advanced methods of making your business secure, you can check AlphaKOR’s blogs on the topics of:

Furthermore, you can reach a cybersecurity expert here at AlphaKOR through the chat bubble in the bottom right-hand side of our screen or by completing our contact form.

The number one trick to a secure IT landscape is knowledge. Knowing what you’re up against and all the various methods of cybersecurity best practices is key to your success.

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