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Five ways to protect against cyberattacks and ransomware

NetworkTigers discusses ways to protect against cyberattacks and ransomware.

As companies continue to adapt to hybrid and remote work models, it’s essential to have a solid cybersecurity system to protect against cyberattacks. Attackers are always looking for new ways to infiltrate environments while staying undetected. 

Cyber threats can target various points in a company’s system, including patch management, defensive technology, firewall configuration, and network segmentation. Here are five ways to protect against cyberattacks and ransomware and keep company employees and servers safe.

Educate employees on the effects of unsecured networks

Banning your workforce from using their personal devices, such as laptops and phones for work may look like an obvious approach. However, this strategy rarely works in the long-term.

Employees are likely to go back to accessing work via personal devices, regardless of company rules prohibiting this due to becoming tired of the inconvenience.

That’s why it’s important to teach your workforce how to use both their work computers and personal devices in a way that reduces the risk of being hacked.

Be sure to educate them about what unsecured networks are, the dangers of using unsecured networks to access work-related information, how to verify secured networks (they require a password or key to access them), and where they’re commonly found, such as in hotels and airports.

Staff members should also be discouraged from sharing passwords and be taught to avoid accessing unsecured sites using company computers as this gives cyber attackers direct access to sensitive information that’s stored on that computer, as well as passwords and browser histories.

Lastly, restrict network admin rights to a few users to reduce the risk of data breaches because workers cannot provide data they don’t have access to. Instead, entrust this data to a key person in your IT department and ensure they’re trained adequately on the encrypted storage of this information.

Secure your information

Often, a lot of attention is given to buying the most advanced cybersecurity software while safeguarding the security of an organization’s hardware is usually overlooked.

However, the theft or loss of devices is a major threat that a company’s IT team should be aware of. To prevent cyberattacks, protect all computers with a  complicated password, memorize that password instead of writing it down in a place that can be accessed easily, and give it to the device user only.

Companies should also avoid attaching servers physically to desks to prevent cyber attackers from walking away with computers and the sensitive information they hold.

Another thing organizations can do is to install “find my device software on all their equipment to make authorities locate the stolen computers quickly. 

Use updated software and anti-malware software

With ransomware being the most common cybersecurity risk to small companies, protecting your company from ransomware and other types of malware is crucial. 

Ransomware works quietly in the background and can only be detected by an anti-virus program, which may not be very effective when it’s already too late to save your data. 

While some anti-malware tools detect and isolate software viruses immediately after they strike, preventing these viruses from finding their way into your computer systems is the first thing you should do.

You can achieve this by investing in software that’s specifically designed to eliminate these viruses. Therefore, investing in optimized SonicWALL Security Appliance Firewalls is crucial as they can prevent malware from entering your database. 

What’s more, you’ll keep receiving update notifications, which you can run immediately after they become available to help you mitigate cybersecurity threats that continue to change at a rapid pace. 

The updates are designed in response to the latest cyberattacks, making them an important tool in the fight against cyber threats.

Encrypt and backup data

Data encryption is the most efficient protection strategy for data breaches, should they occur. 

Thus, a good cybersecurity strategy should prevent physical access to private data and render that information useless if it gets into the wrong hands. Businesses can achieve the latter by encrypting their information.

Remember to encrypt all sensitive information, including all company data, as well as employee information. Nowadays, full disk encryption software is included in all servers and can encrypt all the information on a desktop when it’s at rest.

Ensure this software is activated and updated on all computers. Also, reduce the amount of time a device sits unlocked and unused by setting all servers to enter “lock” or “sleep” mode automatically after five minutes of no activity.

Backing up all information is another way organizations can protect themselves from security breaches. 

Since ransomware hackers lock businesses out of their systems, encrypt their data, and ask for a ransom before releasing the information, companies can stay ahead by backing up all of their information and storing it separately.

Buy cybersecurity insurance

The most security-conscious organizations remain at risk of an attack because cyber criminals keep working tirelessly and looking for more advanced methods of breaching security defenses.

The losses that companies incur from data breaches can be best mitigated by purchasing cybersecurity insurance, yet only 15% of US companies have invested in this type of insurance according to US Better Business Bureau.

If you want to minimize your risk, consult a specialist to help you choose the right type of insurance for your business depending on the financial impact of attacks and your risk of attack.

As cyber attackers become more sophisticated, cybersecurity systems must also evolve to prevent malicious behavior. Organizations can significantly reduce their exposure to cyberattacks and ransomware by implementing the strategies mentioned above.

Maclean Odiesa
Maclean Odiesa
Maclean is a tech freelance writer with 7+ years in content strategy and development. She is also a pillar pages specialist and SEO expert.

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Five ways to protect against cyberattacks and ransomware