In the backdrop of growing digitization, ransomware attacks have drastically increased. Besides compromising the business core functionalities, ransomware attacks limp the trust people have in an organization. They target servers, websites, and specific small entities like local municipalities to stagnate their routine and steal data. Unfortunately, ransomware maintains its position as one of the most profitable business models in cybercrime. Ransomware attacks on websites are usually scary as they invade phishing attacks like emails or spam and jeopardize the whole working system. Once the attacker gets his/her hands on the website, they lock all the files it can access using strong encryption. Later, they demand a ransom to unlock the files and resume full operations.
Recently, a massive ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline shocked the world. The company delivers about 45% of the gasoline supply to the East Coast of the United States. When a ransomware attack invaded their website, the company suffered a big loss as it hacked the business network and infect their billing system. The event brought massive fuel scarcity across the southern parts of the US. According to news reports, Colonial Pipeline paid 75 bitcoin, worth around US$5 million to restore the services. Although such attacks are becoming very common in the fast-moving world, we can still follow some criteria to shield our websites. IndustryWired has listed the top 7 tips to protect your website from ransomware attacks.
Top Tips to Protect Your Website Against Ransomware Attack
Educate Your Employees to Never Click on Unsafe Links
While the top executive authorities are well-aware of the ransomware threats, employees are often kept in the shadow. However, most ransomware attackers choose a normal employee’s mail id as the target to invade a bigger space. Therefore, educating everybody on such attacks is very important. They should be asked not to click on any spam messages or website links from the company PC or laptop.
Keep Away from Unknown USB Sticks
Not just online content, even offline stuff like USB can be a threat if they are infected. Therefore, never connect a USB stick or any other media to your company computer or laptop without knowing its source. Cybercriminals have evolved and upgraded their tactics. There are chances that they have infected this USB and put it on a public forum for a reason.
Build Up a Firewall
A firewall acts as a major defense mechanism against ransomware. They scan the incoming and outgoing traffic for potential risks, providing enough space and time for the security teams to monitor the signs of malicious content. Therefore, every organization should set up a firewall as their primary security encryption. This helps keep away threats. Besides, a firewall can also evaluate applications, data, or services to flag early alarms.
Opt for Regular Security Tests
Regular security tests are very important in an organization as it plays a big role in detecting early threats. They check a company’s IT infrastructure for potential system misconfigurations, weal passwords, unpatched firewalls, flaws in account privileges, and issues with staff behavior. Besides, you can also check the resistance of your IT environment by running penetration testing.
Backup the Data on Close Intervals
The big tactic that attackers use is locking up your data. They demand for ransom after jeopardizing your website. However, by taking constant backups, you can reduce the damage to data lockups. Still, make sure your data backup is protected with double-layer encryption because ransomware attackers can even infiltrate your backup system by going through your device.
Update Your Software Regularly
While you are using third-party software for business, ensure that you go through the updates whenever necessary. You should update both the server operating system and any other software that you are running on your website. It is important to keep a check on this. If possible, opt for companies that initiative regular updates from your end wherever there is an upgrade in their software.
Use Spam Filters
Aside from following other criteria, it is also important to use a spam filter that can identify threatful content and keep it separate. The spam filters should have the capability to prevent phishing emails from reaching users in general. Besides, use disruptive technologies like Sender Policy Framework and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) to prevent malicious attackers from using spoofing techniques.