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The #1 Risk Factor for Ransomware

If you learn anything from the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, it’s that ransomware is increasingly targeting small businesses and consumers. If ransomware is something you put off thinking about because you think you’re too small for criminals to bother with, then you’re exactly who the criminals are coming after.

Ransomware is driven by a much more sophisticated group of organized criminals. They use software to initiate thousands of attacks. The asking price is typically low so they know they can extort thousands of unsuspecting small businesses daily and make a tidy profit if they target those companies least likely to have their data backed up and their networks adequately guarded.

Make no mistake, your business is at risk for ransomware. It’s only a matter of time.

Recent attacks like WannaCry show us that there is no fool-proof measure to stop the attack from happening. To protect your company, your best bet is to deal with your primary risk factor for ransomware.

Your employees.
Employees (even owners!) are the typical point of entry for ransomware. Attacks generally come through email attachments and links that employees click on, infecting anything that the employee has access to, from their local hard drive to shared servers.

Here’s how it works. An employee receives a phishing email that includes a file or link. The link directs a download of malware without the user knowing, or it contains an executable program file that is designed to look like a harmless standard file, like a Word document. In reality, it embeds ransomware software to their device. The malware accesses files on the computer – or other devices the computer is connected to – and encrypts them.

The result is stress, data loss, financial burdens and more stress. Companies are paranoid after the fact, understandably so. It’s an incredible feeling of being violated that can bruise the ego and the company’s coffers. After the fact, small businesses that risk ransomware infections wish they’d done things differently.

The rapid evolution of WannaCry and similar attacks that exploit the same network weaknesses clearly demonstrates that criminals are staying ahead of security measures. It’s a constant game of cat-and-mouse that small businesses struggle to stay on the winning side of. With your employees as your top risk factor, there’s a more effective and affordable way to significantly reduce the danger.

Educate your employees.
We use a service where we send harmless emails that look as a ransomware email might. If the employee clicks, they realize they would have been infected and then they receive a training module.  This kind of training has been shown to reduce a company’s vulnerability down to 1.2%.

We’re living in an age of information overload, and criminals know exactly how to exploit that. Your employees are constantly bombarded by emails. It only takes one click to wind up with ransomware on your network. Provide your staff real world training so that when it hits, they know exactly what to do.

Contact Nortec for an assessment at 866-531-1990 or online.