Strengthening Your Defense Starts With Awareness

By admin | July 10, 2022

Chances are Good You’ll Be a Victim of Ransomware

It’s realistic to assume you’ll become a victim of ransomware, and this awareness can give you the motivation to reinforce your defenses.  By implementing robust prevention and planning strategies, businesses can potentially reduce their downtime, recover more effectively, and save money.  Ransomware researchers agree that the most vulnerable and targeted group for ransomware attacks are small and medium-size businesses.  Moreover, in CyberCatch’s 2022 SMB Ransomware Survey, they found that thirty percent of SMBs report that they do not have a plan to mitigate a ransomware attack (http://cybercatch.com).  Chances are high that your business is at greater risk than you realize.

Having a resilient backup strategy is the key to strengthening your response.  It’s important to recognize that no single backup strategy is perfect and that relying on a single method of protection increases the risk of disaster.  Industry leaders recommend following best practice advice when making decisions regarding the protection of important records.   The 3-2-1 rule is a gold standard to follow, and recommends maintaining 3 copies of your data on 2 different types of media that includes 1 copy offsite.  For even better protection, it is wise to keep an additional copy offline and therefore not exposed to the threat of a ransomware attack.

Whether your data is stored on premise or in the cloud, it’s vital to implement measures to protect it wherever it resides.  Anti-virus, anti-spam and ransomware detection software can help in blocking attacks and prevent the virus from spreading/encrypting files.  Setting these tools to run automatically will further reduce vulnerabilities.  Other preventive measures, such as keeping operating systems up-to-date, using two-factor authentication, and enforcing password complexity rules, should be standard protocols.  Given the growing remote work force, an even greater priority should be placed on employee training to educate on cyber threats and security best practices in and out of the office.

Recent Ransomware Statistics Show Alarming Rise in Attacks

For as long as researchers have been collecting ransomware statistics, recorded incidents of attacks have steadily risen from 1 every 2 minutes in 2016 to 1 every 11 seconds presently.  Cybersecurity researchers predict that this trend will persist and that within the next 10 years, ransomware attacks will be occurring every 2 seconds.  On average globally, between 6,000 and 8,000 ransomware attacks occur per day.  The resulting downtime caused by a ransomware attack was reported in 2020 to be an average of 19 days.  This is an increase of 7 days from that reported in 2019 (https://www.coveware.com).  More than likely, incident numbers are under-reported as industries in the private sector are not required to report ransomware attacks like those in the public sector (https://www.sophos.com).

Hackers have shifted away from targeting individual users to bigger organizations that are more likely to pay (Statista, Dark Reading).  Primary targets include private businesses, government networks, healthcare industries, and educational institutions.  Criminals are often known to target these types of organizations because the data is critical to the business, the services the business provides are critical, or the services are emergency in nature (fire, police, healthcare etc.).  Ransomware attacks on the education sector, for example, saw an increase of over 300% in 2020.  Given the fluctuating focus of targeted attacks during the pandemic, it is no surprise to learn that the logistics industry (shipping and delivery) is expected to be a primary target as the rise in demand for shipping has significantly escalated.  Nevertheless, local government and healthcare entities will remain a primary target, as noted in the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2021 Annual Report, because of the nature of the vital services they provide to a community at large (https://www.ic3.gov).  

Having Layers of Protection is the Best Data Defense Strategy

On-premise backups provide the advantage of faster restores while off-site cloud storage provides protection beyond the physical walls of your business.  Appliance-based backup solutions combine the best of both strategies and provide multiple layers of protection.  Purpose-built backup appliances have the advantage of integrating the hardware and backup software into a single device that is easily installed and ready to deliver the added protection.  Fully-managed services and monitoring tools provide an added benefit to those seeking a backup provider whose job is to ensure you’re protected.

The VaultTek data protection solution provides the convenience of having an on-premise backup with the added security of replication offsite.  Our purpose-built backup appliance, Tekmate, delivers the technology to safeguard your data in multiple locations, while our team of dedicated experts manage and monitor the process.  The benefit of live daily monitoring is a value designed to give you peace of mind so that you can focus on those you serve.  Should disaster strike, our team will guide you towards recovery every step of the way. Our personalized approach to data protection means VaultTek partnerships are anchored in trust, enable resiliency, and make disaster recovery seamless.