Staffing Kansas City

5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Ransomware Attacks

Being a business owner requires wearing a lot of hats, and it’s time to add another hat to the lineup. An article from Fisher Phillips warned ransomware attacks are on the rise. In 2023, businesses were forced to pay more than $1.1 billion in ransomware payments to unsavory characters. In 2022, the amount paid was $567 million, showing cybercriminals are getting better at their job.

The average cost of a ransomware attack (detection, escalation, notification, breach response and lost business) also rose to $5.13 million in 2023, a 13% rise from 2022, according to Fisher Phillips. With cybercrime on the rise, federal and international law enforcement are trying to minimize these attacks on a global scale. These experts also predict an increase in cybercrime in 2024. Last year, 538 new ransomware variants were reported.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that blocks access to computer systems or files until a sum of money is paid to the cybercriminals who infiltrated your business.

How do thieves gain access to files?

Cybercriminals are exceptionally good at finding system vulnerabilities. This can occur through a third-party vendor who has access to your system and/or through phishing, which lures employees into clicking on bad links or files or responding to phishing emails and/or “smishing” text messages.

5 Steps to Preventing Attacks

  1. Updated and consistent cybersecurity training – educate employees on the impacts of phishing and compromised credentials, the most common forms of a first attack. Threat actors count on employee negligence in protecting access to valuable and confidential data. Train employees to identify red flags used to compromise employee credentials.
  2. Regularly evaluate and keep an Incident Response Plan – an Incident Response Plan needs to address all data security incidents. This should include response and notification procedures for ransomware incidents with regular updates as cyberthreats are continually evolving. Engage in a data security drill at least annually. The quicker a breach is found, the quicker it can be contained.
  3. Employ AI or automated cybersecurity – the use of defense and detection technologies can help analysts detect threats quickly and more accurately than ever before with a noticeable cost savings by more quickly containing a security breach.
  4. Secure and encrypt data – don’t forget to also secure cloud-based storage and systems. These hold valuable data including employee and consumer personal identifiers. In 2023, 82% of data breaches involved cloud-based data, which often incur higher costs and take longer to hold.
  5. Engage counsel – businesses face increased data privacy requirements with laws differing from state to state. Awareness of these laws is necessary, and it can be beneficial to engage with a knowledgeable counsel before a breach occurs.

Fisher Phillips

This article is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a woman owned, full-service employment agency that provides contract-to-hire, direct hire and temporary employment placement services throughout the Kansas City metro area.