Given this reality, leaders need to be vigilant against ransomware attacks. But it’s often hard to know how to do that. Here are some recommendations executives should consider:
1. Secure your data in a private cloud.
Protecting your data should be your main priority because that is exactly what cybercriminals will attempt to take for ransom. You should first ensure all your data resides exclusively within a private cloud system. You don’t want to use any third-party or public cloud data repositories, as they cannot be adequately secured.
A private cloud means you aren’t sharing resources with others. That said, it’s still flexible enough to mold itself to how you want to host and manage your data. Migrating to a private cloud system might also provide a good opportunity to rethink how you organize your infrastructure.
2. Use the right tools.
A formidable ransomware protection plan is only as good as its tools. Be sure to only rely on the right ones. Leverage sophisticated automation, monitoring, and provisioning systems to guarantee consistency and compliance.
Make sure your solutions provide a few specific features. One is the ability to sort data from multiple scans. Another is the ability to create a plan of action and milestones to inform you of any vulnerable areas or compliance issues. Sound cloud systems offer such built-in tools, so don’t plan on reinventing the wheel with these fundamentals.
3. Train your staff well.
You can have the best private cloud and tools possible, but if your vulnerabilities are with humans, it’s all for nothing. Therefore, you must require cybersecurity awareness training for every single employee.
What should that entail? Understanding basic phishing attacks and other breaching methods is a start.
You also need to provide continuous education to keep employees abreast of the latest cybersecurity concerns and what to watch out for.
These lessons can be taught through meetings, weekly bulletins, and other methods.
4. Prioritize data access control.
Be sure to have and enforce strict company policies about data access control. Keep things as locked down as possible, and hire a dedicated specialist to continually monitor any changes to data access.
That person should be working from a “zero trust” model, the most conservative and protective cybersecurity approach. It greatly reduces who can access which bits of data in your system, which is just what you want. Remember, the more people you grant access to your data, the more likely a data breach (and the ransom that follows) will happen.
Ransomware isn’t going away. Leaders who bury their heads in the sand about this issue are really just waiting for a costly attack to happen.
Instead, be proactive. Invest in private cloud storage, advanced cybersecurity controls, staff education, and limited data access. Start there, and you can limit your business’s risk and protect its long-term value.