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How to Avoid Ransomware Attacks

April 1st, 2024 | 4 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

Business man working on a computer at a desk

If your organization has poor network security, it can result in a variety of cyberattacks including ransomware attacks. These attacks can be detrimental to your business if they are not immediately detected and mitigated.

Even when a ransomware attack is detected and mitigated, it can still cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair the network and, in some cases, can even cause permanent damage to your infrastructure.

Additionally, ransomware can steal your organization’s data resulting in the loss of sensitive information pertaining to customer information or contract documents.

For this reason, it is important to understand how to avoid ransomware attacks and to prevent these attacks from happening.

Coeo understands how important network security is and has delivered thousands of network security solutions to organizations to improve their network security and help avoid cyberattacks and data breaches.

By the end of this article, you will understand what a ransomware attack is, how to prevent it, and what to do if your organization is a victim of a ransomware attack.

What is a ransomware attack?

Ransomware is a type of malware that attacks your computer and files or prevents you from being able to use your computer.

The attack prevents you from accessing your computer and files until you pay a ransom for them to be unlocked; hence the name ransomware.

Historically, most ransomware targeted a single computer. Today, most human-driven ransomware attacks target multiple computers at one time within an organization to attempt to extort larger sums of money from organizations more capable of paying the ransom.

Some automated ransomware attacks are sophisticated enough to shuffle through your company’s documents and, based on company financial results, set a specific price based on your organization’s financial strength.

Ways to prevent and avoid ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks can cause damage to your network if you are unable to pay the ransom for the attack or if your sensitive data is leaked or corrupted during the attack.

However, there are many ways to avoid ransomware attacks that should be incorporated into your organization including:

Integrating zero-trust security

One of the main solutions organizations can use to avoid ransomware is to incorporate zero-trust security. Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a security method that requires verification from anyone looking to access resources on a network.

Firewalls protect the edge of your network and differentiate between trusted and untrusted users to protect your network. Users and data inside your firewall are known as trusted and outside of your firewall are known as untrusted.

However, if your network is compromised, it is no longer trusted. To combat this, ZTNA takes a different approach to secure your network.

With ZTNA, there is no trusted network because if someone compromises a device that is on your trusted network, your trusted network is now untrusted. Instead, ZTNA takes the angle that every network is untrusted.

Enhanced cloud security

In today’s world, most organizations utilize the cloud to store, send, and receive data.

Utilizing the cloud makes it easier to store data and send and receive data faster, but it also makes your organization an easy target for ransomware attacks if proper cloud security is not in place.

The cloud is connected via the internet which is a public network so it can be accessed by any user if the cloud environment is not private and properly secured.

To avoid ransomware attacks on your network, incorporating enhanced cloud security is important if you rely on the cloud to store sensitive data.

Cloud security solutions like SASE or CASB can be beneficial to securing your cloud environment and help avoid ransomware attacks.

Educate employees on network security

One of the most common ways ransomware enters a network is through human error. Ransomware attacks come in many different forms including malicious links and attachments in emails or malicious websites.

It is important to educate yourself and your employees on the concept of phishing emails and malicious links and attachments. Preventing your team from making human errors like clicking on a phishing email will help your organization avoid cyberattacks.

What to do if your organization is a victim of a ransomware attack

Now you understand what a ransomware attack is and how to prevent them from happening in your network. However, this information may be too late if you have already been a victim of a ransomware attack.

If ransomware has entered your network, you typically will not be aware of it until you see a notification demanding money to regain access to your computer, data, or files.

The first step to try to combat the attacker is to fully clean out your PC by backing up and restoring it to regain access.

The most important thing to do is not pay the attacker to regain access to your computer and files. Even if you were to pay the ransom, you still may not regain access to your computer and data from the attacker so you have paid the attacker for nothing.

Finally, it is vitally important that you report the attack to the appropriate authorities.

Additionally, you should report the attack to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency so they can track where this may have resulted from and communicate the threat more broadly.

Avoiding a ransomware attack

Now you understand what ransomware is, a few ways to prevent it, and what to do if your organization falls victim to a ransomware attack.

This will help you avoid having ransomware penetrating your systems so you do not become a victim. This information will also help you determine how to deal with it if it enters your network and help you minimize the damage and related consequences.

Organizations can be deeply affected by ransomware or any other kind of cyberattack. For this reason, it is important to learn about ransomware and how to avoid it so you can prevent its consequences.

Coeo understands how important reliable network security is and has delivered thousands of solutions to organizations to strengthen their network and help them avoid cyberattacks like ransomware.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about ransomware or network security or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

Now that you understand what ransomware is and some strategies to avoid it, check out this article to determine if SASE is a good choice for your organization:

Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.