Protecting your business from crime is important for many SMB owners. From CCTV systems to security lighting and key card access, you take a range of measures to protect your workplace from illegal entry and theft. But what about cyber security. With the right access, cyber criminals can gain illegal access to your data and IT systems, which can result in digital theft of documents, data and even money. As a result, cyber security is a top priority for a range of small businesses across the UK. Effective cyber security can prevent and protect against a range of cyber attacks including phishing and ransomware. But what is ransomware? And what are the ransomware risks for small businesses? Well, here at Creative Network Solutions, we are Manchester’s leading network and security professionals. From cloud backup to secure remote access, we can provide a range of specialized network solutions. As a result, we have produced this guide to help you protect your company from ransomware attacks.
What is ransomware?
So, what exactly is ransomware? Well, this is a type of malicious malware attack that prevents companies and individuals from accessing their data, unless they pay the ransom. The data is most commonly encrypted, and inaccessible without first being decrypted, which can be almost impossible. This is the first kind of cyber attack to generate revenue for the attacker at the time of the crime. But during a ransomware attack, the hacker could also be making money from selling your customer data and stealing bank details from your databases.
What are the ransomware risks for small businesses?
Initially, ransomware was used to target individuals, locking them out of personal computers unless a sum of money was paid. In recent years, we have seen the target audience switch to companies and businesses, with small businesses being targeted far more frequently throughout 2019 so far. In fact, there has been an increase of 195% in ransomware attacks between 2018 and 2019. This has actually made ransomware the most likely cyber threat to small businesses in the UK. So, what kind of problems can ransomware attacks cause for small businesses? Well, there are several, including:
- Reputational damage- if your small business is hit, and your website or online apps become inaccessible to users, your will suffer reputational damage that could harm your brand in the long term. This will be even more negative if customer details have been stolen, as you will be unable to rebuild consumer trust.
- Loss of business- while your services are down, you will lost out on any sales or bookings, which could have a big impact on your bottom line. The longer your services are offline for, the worse the result will be. So you wont just lose out on the money to pay the ransomware, you’ll also have a loss of earnings to consider too. This is why in 2017, 22 per cent of small businesses that were attacked had to cease operations immediately!
How can your business stay protected?
To protect your business, your data, and your customers from ransomware attacks, you should consider:
- Keeping all software and hardware up to date, especially security certificates
- Use a safe and secure back up system with recovery options, that cannot be effected by a ransomware attack on the main system
- Maintain all anti-virus and anti-malware software
- Using secure and safe passwords
- Working with the professionals
Working with a professional team of network and security experts like us, here at Creative Network Solutions, can help your company stay safe and protected. Why not get in touch today?