Ransomware cripples Las Vegas casino: How can you protect your business?
Earlier this month, there was an attack on MGM Resorts that is still affecting business at the time of this post. Ransomware is crippling their technology from their ordering kiosks to their slot machines and even the hotel card readers. According to some reports, they are losing as much as $8.4M per day in revenue. In today’s digital age, ransomware attacks have become a significant threat to individuals, businesses, and organizations of all sizes. Ransomware is a malicious software that encrypts your files and demands a ransom to unlock them. However, there are proactive steps you can take to protect yourself and your data from these cyber threats. In this blog post, we’ll discuss effective strategies to avoid ransomware attacks.
Keep Your Software Up to Date
One of the most common ways ransomware infiltrates a system is through software vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals are quick to exploit security weaknesses in outdated software. To prevent this, ensure that your operating system, antivirus software, web browsers, and all applications are regularly updated. Software updates often include security patches that address known vulnerabilities, making it much harder for hackers to exploit your system.
Use Robust Antivirus and Antimalware Solutions
Invest in reputable antivirus and antimalware software to provide an additional layer of protection against ransomware. These tools can detect and remove malicious software before it can wreak havoc on your system. Ensure that your antivirus software is set to update automatically and conduct regular scans. If you want to go a step further, SandStorm IT offers Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) that uses multiple detection techniques to identify ransomware and stop it in its tracks.
Invest in a Firewall
A firewall acts as a barrier between your computer and potential threats on the internet. It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic and can block malicious activity. Always keep your firewall enabled and configure it to the recommended security settings.
Be Wary of Suspicious Emails and Links
Phishing emails are a common vector for ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals send convincing emails that appear to be from legitimate sources, tricking recipients into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected attachments. Be cautious when opening emails from unknown senders and never click on suspicious links or download files from untrusted sources.
Educate Yourself and Your Team
Ransomware attacks often target employees through social engineering tactics. Educate yourself and your team about the signs of phishing emails and the importance of not clicking on unknown links or downloading suspicious files. Regularly conduct cybersecurity awareness training to keep everyone informed and vigilant.
Regularly Back Up Your Data
Backing up your data is crucial in case you fall victim to a ransomware attack. Regularly back up your files to an external device or a secure cloud storage service. Ensure that your backups are not connected to your network during the backup process to prevent ransomware from infecting them.
Implement Least Privilege Access
Limit user access to the bare minimum required for their job responsibilities. This practice, known as least privilege access, restricts the damage that ransomware can cause if it infiltrates your network. Only authorized personnel should have administrative privileges.
Ransomware attacks continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, making it essential to stay proactive in protecting your digital world. By following these tips and staying vigilant, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to a ransomware attack. Remember that cybersecurity is an ongoing effort, and staying informed about the latest threats and best practices is key to keeping your data safe.