Ransomware attacks are unfortunately one of those things I find myself talking about over and over and over again.  I like to say it isn’t a matter of if you get hit by ransomware, but when.  Here are five simple tips to help you protect yourself from ransomware attacks that you may not even be thinking about.

Ransomware Attacks Prevention Tip 1 – Have a Backup!

Hopefully this first ransomware prevention tip is a no brainer.  Have a backup!  Unfortunately, it is very easy for things to slip through the cracks sometimes, and we aren’t always backing things up like we should be.
For some strange reason there’s still a notion that if something isn’t important there is no need to back it up. Unfortunately, you may be wrong with your ideas about a server’s importance after it has been ransomwared.
Instead of not backing things up if they aren’t important enough, you should be aiming to back everything up, but being sure to tie in the appropriate Recovery Point Objective, or RPO.
You may give that seemingly unimportant development server a RPO of 72 hours and back it up versus doing nothing, and find out you did need that data when you get in trouble.

Ransomware Prevention Tip 2 – Practice Recovering from Ransomware

My second tip is to practice recovering from ransomware attacks.  You practice recovering in the event of a disaster, don’t you?  Ransomware recovery may require some different steps from your traditional disaster recovery, so it is a good idea to figure that out now.
You should practice recovering from ransomware so you can learn the process, and so you can make sure you can meet your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) for your applications.

Protect Yourself from Ransomware Tip 3 – Security Awareness Training

There are so many different ways for ransomware to get into your environment, and more often than not, it starts with your users.  Make sure all of your end users receive at least basic security awareness training, so they think twice before they click that suspicious link or open that shady file.

Ransomware Recovery Tip 4 – Find Ransomware Before it Finds You

With the prevalence of Ransomware in today’s environments, you may want to find ransomware in your environment before it finds you!
There is often a period of time where you may be infected with ransomware, but it hasn’t yet activated the ransom.  It could be working through your environment, slowly encrypting everything, and waiting to lock you up.
You may want to consider a security tool in your environment to help you detect ransomware.  There are so many things out there today that I’m not going to give you any examples of products, but ideas of what to think about when looking for a ransomware detection tool.
  • Do I have any tools in my environment today that can be used to detect ransomware, but I may not already be using it that way?
  • What is the complete feature set?  What else can I do with it besides look for ransomware.
  • How hard is the tool to use?  What is the learning curve?
  • How much does the tool cost versus how much will a ransomware attack cost my organization?

Recover from Ransomware Tip 5 – Figure Out How Much a Ransomware Attack Will Cost

You may be finding it is hard to get budget to do any of the things I just talked about.  To help you accomplish these things, be sure to perform a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) with ransomware in mind.
This ties back to many of my other tips.  Once you know how much a ransomware attack will cost your business, things like additional testing, security awareness training, and security tools may seem much more inexpensive.
These tips for preventing ransomware attacks may be a little different from what you have seen before, but they are meant to get you thinking outside of the box, and looking at things from a different angle.  At the end of the day, we know the threat is there.  It is up to us to make sure our environments are protected.
Interested in learning more about ransomware, check out my other post on this topic.