The Biggest Data Security Threat of 2017 (And How to Get Ready)

2016 was the year of ransomware. According to a survey from Osterman Research, nearly 50% of organizations were hit with ransomware in the past 12 months. And only 4% of participants said they were confident that their current data security plan could prevent a future attack.

How can you keep ransomware attackers at bay in 2017 and ensure your critical data remains safe and secure? Keep reading to learn more about this rapidly evolving threat and how to safeguard your data in the new year.

What is ransomware?

First things first, what exactly is ransomware? Ransomware is malicious software that locks a computer or network and demands a ransom in exchange for business data. Basically, attackers say pay up or you’ll never see your data again. And even if the business pays the requested ransom, there is no guarantee their data will be returned.

Ransomware is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for almost 10 years. The first case of ransomware was discovered in Russia between 2005 and 2006. Since then, it’s grown into one of the biggest data security threats facing consumers and businesses alike.

How dangerous is ransomware?

There’s no denying that ransomware was the leading threat of 2016, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions Report predicts that ransomware will remain rampant into the new year, only to subside in the second half of the year.

It’s not always easy to tell if an email contains ransomware. Over the years, ransomware attackers have gotten smarter and sneakier. They often hide in plain sight. They send convincing emails appearing to be from someone you know, maybe even the CEO of your company. These emails ask for payroll or billing information.

No business is safe from ransomware. Both small and large businesses are at risk. If you need your data to do business (and what business doesn’t?), you could be the next victim of ransomware.

Ransomware victims are caught between a rock and a hard place. Either they pay up and hope their data is returned, or they go through the painstaking process of trying to recover or replace their critical data. Neither option is very appealing. And many businesses feel they have no choice but to give in and pay the ransom, especially if they failed to implement a backup and recovery solution that ensures their business data is quickly and easily recovered.

How can you prevent ransomware?

While there’s no bulletproof solution to ransomware, you can improve your chances of evading ransomware threats or expedite recovery when attackers strike. For starters, educate your employees to recognize warning signs of malicious emails or websites, emails or websites that could be linking to ransomware software. Develop and enforce an employee cybersecurity policy that highlights all threats and data security best practices.

Even with all the warnings, some employees will still fall for ransomware schemes. That’s why it’s important to take additional precautionary measures. If you haven’t already, make backing up your data a top priority.

Consistent data backups ensure your data is available and easily recoverable, even when ransomware attackers infiltrate your system. You’ll never lose access to stolen data, not when it’s stored in an off-site backup disconnected from the main network and out of the attacker’s reach.

How often you backup your data depends on your business, its data requirements and available resources. If your data is constantly changing and increasing in volume, try backing up data as often as once a month.

What’s Next?

We know backing up data can be a long and time-consuming process…but it doesn’t have to be. Razor Technology’s team of experts can help you design, implement and support a comprehensive backup and recovery solution, a solution that secures uptime and protects your vital business data.

Data loss can result in disastrous consequences for you, your employees and your business. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Let us help you avoid costly downtime and data loss and prepare for ransomware, malware, disaster and the most dangerous threats. Contact us today, and we’ll help you build a solution that fits your exact needs.

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