Businesses around Wyoming and across the United States are under intense pressure from cybercriminals, who are increasingly utilizing ransomware to access their systems. The attacks have become alarmingly routine. First, the user loses access to critical files. Then, a demand for payment arrives, with the promise that their files will be released or destroyed unless the ransom is paid.
This causes a massive disruption in the user’s routine, and it’s even worse when it happens to a business. When hackers target companies overseeing critical infrastructure like Colonial Pipeline Co., it becomes a national security threat.
In a recent survey by Sophos, 30% of professional IT managers noted that they had been the victim of a ransomware attack, even though they were running up-to-date cybersecurity. With the rise of COVID-19 and the growing popularity of remote work, security has taken on even greater importance. It’s clear that a set-it-and-forget-it cybersecurity approach is no longer sufficient to prevent bad actors from accessing sensitive company data and tools.
Before we talk in-depth about cybersecurity, it would help to get on the same page about how a typical ransomware attack looks. Then, we’ll delve into the security solutions that offer the best possible defense, so you can keep your assets protected.
Understanding the Stakes of Cybersecurity in 2021
Cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent than ever before, and bad actors are getting more adept at breaching even the most professional cybersecurity defenses.
In the same survey we mentioned above, a further 68% of companies said they had been victimized by a cyberattack that breached their network. That’s 2 out of every 3 organizations. Ransomware is one of the most widespread modes of attacks, especially overseas, where 49% of Japanese respondents and 43% of U.K. respondents noted its involvement in a cyberattack on their organization.
Despite rumors to the contrary, ransomware remains one of the most widespread and damaging tools in a cyberattacker’s arsenal. It’s a huge issue, and to solve it, we must all take part in the solution.
What Is Ransomware?
Before we can act against ransomware, we need to learn the basics of how a ransomware attack works.
Ransomware is defined as a type of malicious software (malware) that cybercriminals use to extort money from their victims. There are many different types of ransomware used today, and as soon as one type is discovered, cybercriminals simply innovate another that is less obvious or detectable.
How does a ransomware attack begin?
The first step in any ransomware attack involves the cybercriminal gaining access to your computer. From there, it’s simple for them to gain the permissions they need to install the ransomware.
After it’s quietly installed, the ransomware springs into action, encrypting valuable files so they can’t be accessed by anyone other than the hacker. After that, the hacker will usually get in touch to let you know what they’ve done and set a ransom amount they want in exchange for the security of your files.
How do hackers initially gain access to your computer?
There are many different ways for hackers to access your system. The 2 most common are:
- Phishing emails that look legitimate, but instead contain malicious attachments
- Poisoned websites, which also look legitimate, but instead direct you to a malicious page
Some of the most spoofed brands include Apple, Amazon and Microsoft – brands that most of us get messages from regularly and trust implicitly.
Anti-ransomware technology plays a key role in stopping malicious attachments or webpages from gaining access to your entire system. However, it’s equally important to educate yourself and your staff, so they can be on the lookout for phishing emails or malicious links and web pages that come their way.
How Medicine Bow and Sophos Can Help Improve Your Security
Now that you know the hallmarks of a ransomware attack, you can take the steps you need to avoid its distressing effects on your business.
One of the best ways to ensure your protection is to work with an experienced cybersecurity expert like Medicine Bow Technologies. The solutions we offer include Sophos’ Intercept X Endpoint Security, a modern high-performance, next-gen firewall with IPS, TLS inspection, zero-day sandboxing and machine learning ransomware protection.
Sophos doesn’t just defend against the latest ransomware. When you work with Sophos, you’ll benefit from years of integration between firewall and endpoint. The clear visibility into your network health is a huge advantage, as is the ability to automatically respond to security incidents as soon as they’re flagged. This time advantage helps ensure that every potential incident is taken care of before it can lead to lost files, reputational damage or serious financial consequences.
With our award-winning Sophos firewall, the primary goal is to prevent attackers from gaining access to your network. If a piece of ransomware does manage to get through, you can rest assured that this innovative firewall offers an additional level of protection. The Sophos firewall can stop ransomware dead in its tracks, thanks to its integration with Sophos Intercept X, our industry-leading endpoint protection platform.
Partnering with Medicine Bow Technologies and investing in the Intercept X Endpoint Security from Sophos is like putting your network protection on autopilot. This protection is a huge force multiplier to your team, ensuring that you’re shielded from every piece of ransomware that comes your way. With your cybersecurity taken care of, you can get back to work without the stress of worrying about ransomware.
Want to learn more? Get in touch today to explore how a personalized approach to technology from Medicine Bow can benefit your organization.