Ransomware has gained national recognition as one of the biggest threats facing institutions in both public and private arenas. Earlier this year, the federal government assumed ransomware wasn't too big of a threat in the U.S., but since then, it has realized that bolstering the nation against cybercrime is fast becoming a top priority.
The National Security Institute recorded the average ransom fee increased from $5,000 in 2018 to $200,000 in 2020. Additionally, due to COVID-19, ransomware in the form of malicious emails has increased by 600%. Unfortunately, 80% of ransomware victims who paid the criminals ended up experiencing another attack soon after, while 46% received their data back only to find it corrupted (Cybereason, 2021).
These are just a handful of the statistics that show how significant a threat ransomware can be to business owners. It's why the government has issued guidance for employers to help minimize cyber risks (which aren't as minor as we thought) and view them as key to the survival of their operations.
The government is recommending the following steps for leaders to review their vulnerabilities and administer necessary cybersecurity measures:
Back up your data frequently. Saving and backing up data is not a newfangled concept ever since our increased reliance on computers to store our information. Businesses too must securely backup sensitive data, files, and images as regularly as possible. These backups are the key to keeping your operations running smoothly in the event of a ransomware attack.
Keep your security software updated. Antivirus programs and firewalls are only as good as their latest update. Your cybersecurity software needs to be regularly updated to remain effective against ransomware attacks on your office tech.
Create and follow a thorough response plan. You've probably heard of emergency response plans and kits for natural disasters. Incident response plans work much the same way, outlining suitable protocols and steps to help your company minimize the damages resulting from ransomware attacks. Once you come up with a plan,
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