Ways to Prevent and Limit the Impacts Of Ransomware In Calgary
The growing threat of ransomware attacks poses a grave danger to people, businesses, and organizations. Worst of all, everyone is a potential target because ransomware doesn’t care whether you are a global corporation, a one-million-dollar enterprise, a health facility, or even a school. You are at risk, whether as an individual or a business entity.
Ransomware is deadlier than other cyber-attacks. It cripples your computer or smart device, blocking access to all your data, and a pop-up screen appears demanding money as ransom to restore access to your files or have them deleted. In theory, you should regain access to your data after paying the ransom fee, but this is not always the case.
For businesses and organizations, ransomware has a more devastating effect. All projects grind to a screeching halt until the systems are secured and access regained. This may take days, orchestrating massive losses to the organization under attack.
Ransomware Impact in Calgary
Calgary has been in the spotlight in recent times over a string of ransomware attacks on businesses and institutions. Here are some notable incidents:
- University of Calgary: On May 28, 2016, a ransomware attack crippled the university’s systems, forcing it to pay a $20,000 CDN worth in bitcoins to regain access to sensitive data. Luckily, the criminals released the decryption keys to the infected machines after receiving the ransom money.
- Parkland Corp: A report published on December 4, 2020, indicated that Parkland Corp, a multi-million dollar energy firm based in Calgary had been hit by ransomware. While the company spokesperson failed to confirm the attack, it was reported that the attacker had begun publishing sensitive data, such as a copy of the visa of one of the Directors.
These, and many other incidents that go unreported, meaning that everyone had better take action to prevent ransomware attacks. Paying ransom to the attackers is hardly the solution, as the FBI warns because it isn’t a guarantee that you will regain your data.
Ways to prevent and limit the impact of ransomware
Ransomware attacks have become prevalent in recent times, targeting anything from small business entities to large conglomerations and government facilities. You are always just a click away from becoming the next target. Defending your systems against a possible attack requires a holistic, all-hands-on-deck approach, bringing everyone on board and sealing all loopholes.
Here are five ways to prevent and limit the effect of ransomware:
Educate your employees on the threats of ransomware
Your security systems are as strong as the people operating them. Cyber-criminals are hoping that one of your employees would click on a suspicious attachment on an email, an ad, or phony software, creating a possible entry point into your information systems.
Defending your systems from ransomware requires that you bring everyone on board, educating them on the threats of ransomware, and their impact to the business. Keep reminding your staff to follow all security protocols when accessing data, and to keep any passwords assigned to them safe.
Invest in the right Cybersecurity solutions
It is also important to invest in the right, or best, Cybersecurity solutions. Your ordinary antivirus software may not be so effective in detecting and rebuffing ransomware. Hackers are exploiting modern technology to create malware that easily bypasses anti-virus software and cheap firewalls.
You should invest in top-notch Cybersecurity solutions to be on the safe side. Such solutions may be expensive, but cannot compare to the harm a ransomware attack would cause to your business. It would cripple your computer systems, lock up your data, and stop productivity. And you don’t want your sensitive information, such as personal details or customer records, popping up online.
Make business continuity a priority
Always ensure your business can have continuity even in the face of an unprecedented disaster. This is because anything can happen, such as the collapse of your servers, shut-down of the cloud services, natural calamities, and others. Have strategies in place to mitigate such disasters, should they happen.
Have reliable data backups both on the cloud and on physical media stored in a secure environment. This would help you continue with your business activities even when the attacker hijacks your servers, or lock up the data and files on your computers.
Constant monitoring and evaluation of data systems
The security of your data systems isn’t a one-off affair. Ransomware attackers are always taking chances, or inventing crafty ways of infiltrating data systems. This means that what worked for you yesterday may not be effective today or tomorrow.
This means that you need to have your security systems checked and monitored round the clock. This would help you detect any emerging anomaly, such as failed login attempts. Always keep a keen eye on your security logs, as well as any other logs kept by your systems. You would be able to spot any suspicious activity and stop it before it is too late.
Have the right outsourced IT company
The right outsourced IT company isn’t just any company splashing ads all over, claiming to offer the best services. In any case, they are also prone to cyber-attacks if they haven’t put in place reliable measures to protect their clients’ data.
Finding the right IT company to partner with can be a tricky affair since all claim to be the best. But the best should be able to prove that it has tried-and-tested, premium-quality, and enterprise-grade Cybersecurity systems in place. It should also have expert staff that understands the concept of data security, especially when it comes to protecting it from ransomware attacks.
If you are looking for a reliable and efficient IT company to partner with, consider CTECH Consulting Group, based in Calgary and Southern Alberta. We focus on providing excellent IT solutions to businesses and organizations in Calgary. We have years of experience, and highly trained staff capable of handling any IT-related issue you may have.
No one is completely safe from ransomware attacks. It is essential that you take appropriate measures to limit the impact of these attacks, or prevent them from occurring altogether. Contact us if you need any help protecting your business from ransomware.
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Combining my technical/business-based education with a long career steadily progressing up the corporate ladder, I decided to build a company that held true to my values. So, I founded and designed the next generation of IT support firm: CTECH Consulting Group Inc. We are a completely automated, cloud-based IT company designed to compete against any other IT firm without the overhead. We promote a lifestyle to all our staff where they can work anywhere, at any time, access any information on any device that is relevant to their job, and collaborate with anyone they want to.