Ransomware attacks have become a massive problem for almost every industry and every organization size. In the U.S., federal officials have called it one of the biggest threats currently facing the nation. During the last year, criminals have attacked schools, shipping agencies, healthcare organizations, medical trials, and more. Given the impact these attacks can have on organizations everywhere, security professionals need to secure their systems, networks and software in new ways.
What is a Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware is a specific type of malware that holds data hostage in exchange for a ransom. As an attack methodology, it has the potential to cause severe damage. Phishing emails are a common delivery method, but ransomware can also be spread through drive-by downloading, which is when a user visits a website that’s infected. Advanced attacks take seconds to compromise endpoints, and ransomware attacks take seconds to damage your systems and infrastructure. That’s why it's critical to ensure your organization is prepared. As attacks grow in sophistication, the impact of ransomware goes beyond financial losses and the productivity loss associated with systems going down.
Attempted attacks and data breaches are inevitable, and no organization wants to be forced to decide between paying a ransom and losing important data. Fortunately, those aren’t the only two options. The best option is to keep from being forced into that decision in the first place. This approach requires a layered security model that includes network, endpoint, application, and data-center controls powered by proactive global threat intelligence. With that in mind, here are nine things to consider to give your organization the best chance of avoiding ransomware attacks.