As technology continues to advance, so do the risks.
One of the most significant threats facing businesses and individuals today is ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of malware that locks you out of your systems and data until you pay a ransom. It’s a growing problem, and the numbers are staggering.
In this post, I’ll discuss the latest ransomware statistics, steps you can take to protect yourself, and resources you can use to safeguard your data.
The Latest Ransomware Statistics
According to the 2022 “Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report,” ransomware attacks surged dramatically in 2022; ransomware was involved in 25% of all breaches.
Check Point revealed a 42% global increase in cyber-attacks with ransomware the number one threat, as of mid-2022.
The average cost of a ransomware attack was $1.85 million.
Statistics reveal that a ransomware attack will occur every 2 seconds by 2031.
In the 2022 Small and Medium-Sized Business Ransomware Survey released by CyberCatch, 75 percent of small- and midsize businesses would fail within a week if they were victims of ransomware.
The consequences of a ransomware attack can be devastating. In addition to the financial loss, there’s also the loss of data, reputation, and customer trust.
Steps You Can Take to Protect Yourself
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself from ransomware risks. Here are some tips to help you safeguard your systems and data:
1. Back up your data regularly
Backing up your data regularly is one of the most critical steps you can take to protect yourself from ransomware. If your data is backed up, you can restore it without paying the ransom.
Make sure you back up your data to an external hard drive, cloud storage, or other secure location.
I would even suggest that you have multiple backups in different locations. That way, if something happens to your original data, you have more than one backup plan to restore your access.
2. Keep your software up to date
Outdated software is a common entry point for ransomware. Make sure you keep your operating system, applications, and antivirus software up to date.
Turn on automatic updates so you don’t have to worry about it.
3. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
Weak passwords are easy to crack, and two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security to your accounts.
Use strong, unique passwords for each account, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.
4. Be cautious of suspicious emails and links
Phishing emails are a common way for ransomware to enter your system. Be cautious of any suspicious emails, links, or attachments. Don’t click on anything you’re not sure of and report any suspicious activity to your IT department.
5. Train your employees and family
Human error is also a common entry point for ransomware. If you are a business owner or manager, make sure you train your employees on best practices for cybersecurity, including how to recognize and report suspicious activity.
But don’t stop there. Also train your family to make sure you protect your home network against ransomware and other malware.
Home networks are usually softer targets, because most users don’t deploy the same anti-malware protection at home that they might have at the office.
Resources for Ransomware Protection
In addition to the steps above, there are also resources you can use to protect yourself from ransomware risks.
Here are some of the most helpful:
1. Antivirus software
Antivirus software is your first line of defense against ransomware. Make sure you have a reputable antivirus program installed and keep it up to date.
This includes antivirus software on all of your mobile devices as well.
2. Ransomware decryptors
If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, there are sometimes decryptors available that can help you recover your data without paying the ransom.
Check out the No More Ransom Project for a list of available decryptors.
3. Cybersecurity insurance
Consider investing in cybersecurity insurance to protect yourself in case of a ransomware attack.
Make sure you read the policy carefully and understand what’s covered.
Some policies will refuse to pay if your don’t have an acceptable level of cybersecurity in place.
4. Cybersecurity training
Invest in cybersecurity training for yourself and your employees.
This can include online courses, workshops, and seminars.
Join our mailing list. We plan to include links to some recommended training resources in future newsletters.
Ransomware risks are a growing problem, but you don’t have to be held hostage.
By following the expert tips above and using the resources available, you can protect yourself from these attacks.
Remember to back up your data regularly, keep your software up to date, use strong passwords and two-factor authentication, be cautious of suspicious emails and links, train your employees, and use antivirus software and other resources to safeguard your data.
With these steps in place, you’ll be well on your way to protecting yourself from ransomware risks.