FBI report reveals 300% increase in cybercrime due to pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the world to digitally accelerate at a rate it has never done before. And while organizations across all industries have taken their business processes and day-to-day from person-to-person to online, it’s no coincidence, there has also been a surge in cyber threats and cyberattacks. The Pirates took advantage of the opportunity to attack vulnerable networks as office work has shifted to personal homes, with a fbi report see a 300% increase in reported cybercrimes during the pandemic.

As cybercrimes of all kinds have increased in both volume and sophistication, ransomware in particular is quickly becoming the Achilles heel of many organizations across various industries. Ransomware is a form of malware that is secretly installed on a system and performs a crypto-virology attack that locks down or figure valuable files on the network. Once inside, malicious actors can also roam sideways within a company’s network, infecting endpoints and servers, and demanding a ransom for accessing a company’s own data.

Ransomware attacks increased by 130% in 2020, and nearly 40% of victims ended up paying the ransom. Corporate ransomware accounts for 81% of the total number of infections, and by market segment, 62% are small and medium-sized businesses, with business losses averaging $ 2,500 per incident and ransom demands averaging $ 13,000. The FBI estimates the ransom payments per year exceed $ 1 billion, but others go further, estimating that ransomware will cost up to $ 6 trillion per year from 2021.

Considering how critical a ransomware attack can be for an organization of any size, cybersecurity has become one of the most important factors for businesses today. However, to prepare for and try to prevent a ransomware attack, businesses need to do more than just have good security software. There are steps that can be taken to prevent ransomware involving software, personnel, and actions that the company itself can take.

First, good cybersecurity is probably the most important step one can take in trying to prevent ransomware. Today on the way to zero trust provides visibility and control over your network when trying to stop ransomware. Asset prioritization and traffic assessment, microsegmentation and adaptive monitoring are all key aspects of the zero trust architecture, which help to significantly reduce the risk of attack.

In addition to the Zero Trust architecture, other simple software extensions such as Ad Block greatly help to minimize ransomware attacks. All devices and browsers should have extensions that automatically block pop-up ads. With heavy internet usage, malicious ads pose a long-lasting threat if not blocked.

Second, staff must have the right training and the right procedures to both attempt to adequately prevent ransomware and know how to openly avoid cyber threats on the Internet. Ransomware awareness is a basic security measure. But it would only take one employee to lower their guard for an organization to be compromised. While training sessions influence personnel for each potential attack, increased security is imperative nonetheless.

In the case of staff working remotely or just a loose policy regarding acceptable devices for network access, it might be time to get tough. Unregulated use of new or unique devices poses unnecessary risk to your network, and every device connected to an unsecured network is just another endpoint for potential cyber attackers. Such policies such as bringing your own device (BYOD) are no longer the smartest options for organizations in the future.

Finally, organizations themselves must take steps to prevent ransomware attacks. The most essential step that a business can take on its own is to have vital data offline backups. While virtual backups are great, if you don’t store data backups offline, you may lose that data, in some cases forever. This means regular backups, multiple saved copies, and monitoring to ensure that the backups stay true to the original.

Testing and updating is also crucial for any business in any industry. Updating anti-ransomware software to keep up with the latest digital innovations and updating email gateways to monitor email attachments, websites and files for malware are two necessities. As far as testing is concerned, Sandbox testing provides a safe, disconnected environment from the large network to test the file, while rapid response testing is also essential. In the event of an unfortunate scenario of a successful breach, your team should be prepared to restore systems and recover data, which includes pre-assigning roles and putting a plan in place.

While ransomware attacks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, reliable cybersecurity can dramatically reduce the risk of a hack. Those interested in learning more about the latest cybersecurity methods and applications can learn more at ITEXPO, one of the world’s largest, oldest and most vital technology events. Taking place from June 22-25, ITEXPO attracts companies of all sizes and represents all sectors of the communications and technology industries, including businesses and SMEs, government agencies, MSPs / resellers, service providers / carriers, manufacturers, developers, etc.

Everyone from IT / Telecom engineers and managers to senior executives and business leaders will come together in Florida for the only event dedicated to digital transformation solutions for mid-market businesses, SMBs, resellers and vendors. services in traditional and emerging categories. Speakers, panels, exhibits, demonstrations, special events and more will provide opportunities for education, insight and networking.

ITEXPO’s myriad of presentations include those relating to the latest cybersecurity opportunities, such as “Cyber ​​Security as Part of Your Solutions Portfolio” with Marcia Dempster, Senior Director of Channel Sales at Keeper Security. There is also a presentation on Cybersecurity Opportunities for MSPs where a panel of panelists will discuss the evolving security landscape and the evolution of security solutions to respond to these changes. To find out more about ITEXPO Click here.

Edited by Luke Bellos

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