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How to mitigate a potential Ransomware attack

Here’s the fact: some nations are more inclined and more likely to pay out a ransom than other nations.

However, paying out ransoms is extremely problematic for a number of reasons. Not only does it contribute to establishing a precedent for attackers to repeat their efforts against you and other organisations, but, there is no guarantee that the attacker will uphold their end of the bargain.

In fact, 80% of organisations that do pay out a ransomware attack experience a second, subsequent attack – of which 46% believe are performed by the same cybercriminals.

So, you may be wondering what the alternatives are: If you don’t pay a ransom out, how do you recover?

At the end of the day, ransomware is extremely dangerous, and it’s rare that the victim will walk away completely unscathed. However, the highest yield for risk-reduction comes with preparation.

By taking pre-emptive measures and establishing processes for a ransomware attack in advance, you can increase confidence in your stakeholders that your company is equipped and ready for rectifying an attack. Furthermore, you dissuade attackers from targeting you again, rather than providing them with finances and a further incentive to target you and fellow Australians.

So, here are some key measures you can take to prepare for and mitigate a potential attack:

  • Create regular backups and prepare redundant work systems: Depending on the extent of a ransomware attack, backups can potentially restore your data and systems, enabling you to then focus on securing your systems instead of paying out a hacker. Back up your systems and data regularly so you have some potential wiggle room in the event of an attack.

  • Incident response procedures: It’s crucial that if and when an attack occurs, you and your employees are prepared on what steps to take. Rather than scrambling for a fix and playing into the hands of the ransomware attackers, establish roles, responsibilities and processes within the organisation in advance.

  • Cyber-safe work culture: Human error is repeatedly the leading cause of cybercrime. It’s entirely possible for a simple misclick or phishing email to create a point of entry for attackers. Deploy regular awareness training at all levels of your organisation to reduce your human-risk as much as possible.

  • Treat payment as a last resort: The problem with paying an attacker is that there’s no guarantee they’ll restore your access, or delete the data they’ve stolen. Work with security professionals to determine the best course of action, and only make payment if it’s impossible to recover through other means.

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