Ransomware protection should never be an afterthought. In a recent letter addressed to corporate executives and business leaders, the White House emphasized that bolstering the nation’s resilience against cyberattacks is a main priority for President Joe Biden’s administration. Specifically, as ransomware attacks continue to rise in both cost and frequency throughout the country, the federal government is urging businesses to take this evolving cyber threat seriously.
How Ransomware Attacks Are Carried Out
Ransomware attacks happen when a cybercriminal deploys malicious software. The goal is to compromise a business’s network or sensitive data. Once that happens they demand a hefty payment be made—the criminal promises to restore the data after receiving the money.
It’s quickly becoming a growing concern across industry lines. In fact, the latest research provides that ransomware attacks have increased by nearly 150% in the past year alone, with the median ransom payment demand totaling $178,000 and the average overall loss from such an attack exceeding $1 million.
“There are options out there for businesses needing risk management guidance and insurance solutions,” Autumn Insurance & Benefits CEO and President Curt Rager said. “It’s still a little muddy regarding what your policies will and will not protect and we are here to help guide you through your company’s own particular policies and needs.”
Despite the number of attacks, they keep happening. A ransomware attack against Kaseya affected more than 1,500 of their customers over the July 4th weekend. Overall, there were 304.6 million global ransomware attacks in 2020, an increase of 62 percent over 2019. Victim organizations now pay nearly $221,000 on average in ransomware payments.”
The advice from Autumn Insurance, based on our current level of knowledge in this ever-changing issue, includes:
Maintain Updated Security Software
You can upgrade your ransomware protection through technology. Businesses should equip their systems and devices with adequate security software—such as antivirus programs, firmware protection, and firewalls. And to keep it working properly, make sure to update the software regularly. That being said, you should also consider using centralized patch management systems to keep security software on a consistent update schedule.
Ensure An Effective Incident Response Plan
All businesses should have cyber incident response plans in place. These plans outline proper response protocols and offer steps for minimizing potential damages during cyberattacks. Companies should make sure to include several ransomware attack scenarios within their response plans and routinely test these scenarios with their cybersecurity teams. Based on test results, businesses should revise their response plans accordingly.
Ransomware Protection In The Workplace
Apart from testing their response plans, businesses should also regularly assess their existing workplace cybersecurity policies and procedures. You should make sure the software is sufficient in protecting against current risks—such as ransomware threats. In particular, businesses should consider using a third-party penetration tester to review their ransomware defense tactics and overall cybersecurity capabilities. Businesses should work with their trusted cybersecurity teams and IT experts to make workplace adjustments as needed (e.g., updating policies or purchasing new security software).
Keep Critical Networks Separated
To keep ransomware attacks from fully disrupting their operations, businesses should attempt to segment their various workplace networks (e.g., sales, production, and corporate) from one another rather than having a unified network. Restrict access to each network to those who use them to conduct their job tasks. Networks should only allow internet access as needed. That way, businesses can avoid becoming completely compromised by single-network ransomware attacks and continue performing critical functions.
Autumn Insurance Ransomware Protection
For additional risk management guidance and insurance solutions contact Autumn Insurance & Benefits or call us at 248-478-1177.