Why Ransomware Continues to Pose a Threat to Small Businesses

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A small business perhaps must face down more challenges than larger companies, because it lacks the extensive resources to shield itself from modern threats. This is especially the case when essential services rely on the internet to perform tasks.

This connectivity – which is needed by most – exposes a small business to the endless threats of the web. Malware, malicious third parties and phishing scams are just a few of the dangerous elements out there. There’s another threat which can compromise sensitive information: ransomware.

Ransomware is a type of malware which targets systems, specifically those with valuable data. Once infected, part or all the information is encrypted. This encryption locks important files and prompts users to follow a link to pay the ransom, primarily to the third party responsible for deploying the bug.

The problems are immediately apparent: information is lost and you’re threatened to pay up to an unknown source. It is a frustrating scenario, made worse by the fact that ransomware is extremely difficult to remove. In most cases, ransomware cannot be removed depending on the infection, requiring a format of the HDD.

Spread to a network, the damage could be catastrophic to a small business. It’s easy to assume that smaller organizations are unlikely to be targeted by ransomware, but this isn’t the case. Where ever there are valuable assets, ransomware looks to exploit it.

A small business must take extra care because deep levels of encryption can render numerous hardware installations useless. Doubly so if the network is infected, where precious data can be lost. When these scenarios occur, the cost to replace them can be disastrous – not to mention the extensive downtime ransomware causes.

So again, because small companies don’t always have extensive financial resources to fall back on, ransomware threatens their livelihood. It is unlike traditional malware which typically has a fix, so it is a problem lacking many resolutions.

All is not lost, however. Fortunately, preventing ransomware is the best defense, and doing so only requires a strict security policy and careful identification of threats.

To better protect your small business, it’s good to always have extensive backups in place. Identify high value assets like servers, computers or anything which could lead to downtime and costly replacement if lost.

With backups in place, have workers follow a rigid set of guidelines when using network infrastructure. Avoid all suspicious links, emails, and messages and do not allow free-reign of web browsing, as this is a potential security threat.

It’s also good to have an effective backup recovery plan in place too. Additionally, create a method to close off portions of the network in the event it becomes infected with ransomware. You don’t want a whole network lost because of this troublesome malware.

Take extra care when relying on internet based infrastructure and set thorough backups. While ransomware is difficult to remove at the moment, it can be prevented. Extensive preparations, ultimately, are the cure.  Stratosphere Networks is a leading provider in security solutions and has extensive knowledge in the area of IT security.  Give us a call at (877)599-3999 or fill out a contact form to speak with an IT professional about the state of your IT security.

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