Organizations of all sizes and sectors face increased cybersecurity risks. Specifically, ransomware attacks – which exploit malware to compromise a victim's data and require them to make a large payment to recover it – have quickly become a growing threat across industry lines. And no employee is immune, including ransomware attacks on board members.
In fact, new research has shown that these types of attacks have increased by 150% in the last year alone, with the average amount paid by victims jumping over 300%. Such attacks have also become more sophisticated over the years as cybercriminals have developed a wide range of different techniques for using ransomware.
In the light of these advances in IT concerns, it is important for board members to actively engage in developing and promoting effective workplace cyber security measures ̵
- How can our organization better detect ransomware threats?
Before a ransomware attack can occur, a cybercriminal must gain access to his target network, system or data. Once a cybercriminal has gained this access, it takes a long time – also known as a "residence time" – usually before the ransomware is distributed and the attack actually begins.
With this in mind, organizations that can detect potential ransomware threats during their stay rather than at the beginning of an attack can stop such incidents before they even start. The following actions can help board members ensure that ransomware problems are detected as early as possible within their organizations:
- Keep up-to-date records of all technology in the workplace to understand where ransomware threats may arise.
- Equip all technology in the workplace with antivirus and malware software. Update this software regularly.
- Have critical technology, systems and data consistently monitored for suspicious activity. Ensure that the employees responsible for these monitoring procedures are properly trained to do so.
- Establish thresholds for when employees should notify senior executives of ransomware threats.
- Provide all employees with clear ransomware reporting protocols.
- What can our organization do to minimize the damage in the event of a ransomware attack?
When ransomware attacks occur, it is important for affected organizations to do everything they can to limit the damage. In particular, board members should prioritize these procedures:
- Keep data encrypted. This practice will make it much more difficult for cybercriminals to compromise with data during an attack on ransomware.
- Limit employees' access to technology, systems and data in the workplace. Allow access only when needed.
- Require employees to use accurate data and multifactor authentication when accessing workplace technology, systems, and data.
- Consider keeping different workplace networks separate to prevent cybercriminals from gaining full access after attacking a single network.
- Does our organization have an effective cyber incident response plan in place?
Cyber incident response plans are one of the best tools to help organizations respond appropriately and reduce cyberattack losses. Board members should work closely with workplace leaders in various departments to develop adequate response response plans for their organizations. In general, an effective cyber incident response plan should describe:
- Who is part of the cyber incident response team (eg board members, department heads, IT professionals, legal experts and HR specialists)
- What roles and responsibilities each member in the cyber incident response team must maintain during an attack
- What the organization's key functions are and how these operations will continue during an attack
- How all critical workplace decisions will be made during an attack
- When and how stakeholders should be informed about a attack (eg employees, customers, shareholders and suppliers)
- What federal, state and local regulations the organization must follow when responding to an attack (eg incident reporting protocols)
- When and how the organization should seek help from additional parties to help recover from an attack (eg law enforcement and insurance staff)
Note that c yb Advance plans must be evaluated and updated regularly to ensure efficiency. Various activities can be performed to assess cyber incident response plans – including table top exercises and penetration testing.
- Does our organization's cyber incident response plan adequately address ransomware attacks?
Cyber incident response plans should address a large number of possible attack circumstances. That being said, it is important that ransomware attacks on board members are properly planned and reported within their cyber incident response plans.
Specifically, board members must decide whether or not their organizations will make ransom payments to cybercriminals, especially when the compromised information is sensitive or critical to the business. Keep in mind that cybersecurity experts usually advise against meeting password requirements, as there is a chance that cybercriminals may take the ransom and not recover the compromised data or take advantage of it in future attacks.
Furthermore, board members must ensure that their organizations are prepared for the lengthy recovery process that often accompanies ransomware attacks. In some cases, it may take several weeks or months to recover compromised data. During this time, board members must have plans to keep their organizations functional and minimize reputational damage.
- Are all data backup protocols within our organization sufficient to protect against ransomware threats?
Backing up important data can help organizations maintain access to key files and information during cyber incidents. However, bad data backup protocols can be easily exploited by cybercriminals, resulting in ransomware attacks. As a result, board members should ensure that their organizations follow these data backup security procedures:
- Perform data backup according to a routine schedule. Consider backing up critical data more often.
- Store data backups offline and in a separate location from other workplace systems and networks.
- Allow only trusted and qualified employees to back up data.
We can help you recover from a ransomware attack
Companies operate in an environment where it is not about IF a cyber attack will occur, it's just a matter of when .
We need to take reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood of an attack, but we must also be realistic and understand that inevitably we will all deal with a cyber attack at some point.
The two most important questions you need to answer as a business owner are:
- Will I know how to react when a cyberattack occurs?
- Will my company survive the devastating consequences of a cyberattack?
The planning you are making today, the strategic partnerships you are carrying out, and the suitability of your Cyber and data intrusion insurance are all important components to be able to safely answer the question " my company will survive after a cyber attack "with a resounding" ABSOLUTE . "
We understand the negative effects that a cyber attack can have on your organization, we have seen for ourselves how it affects customers. We also know which insurance company that offers the widest insurance coverage to help you recover from an attack.
But we do not stay there.
The best place to start is with your own internal operations, the security measures you have taken and the controls that have been implemented to prevent a data breach.
In addition to offering coverage for cyber and data breaches, we can also offer you several services to help you position your company for the best insurance premiums offered by the country's strongest insurance company. Specifically, we can:
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To learn more about how we can help simply Request a suggestion and we'll get started right away.