Ransomware is a notorious headache for the corporate sector, affecting businesses around the world for a number of years. As if that wasn’t enough, 2019 has seen the rapid development of an earlier trend, where malware distributors have targeted municipal organizations. Researchers note that while these targets might be less capable of paying a large ransom, they are more likely to agree to cybercriminals’ demands. Blocking any municipal services directly affects the welfare of citizens and results, not only in financial losses but other socially significant and sensitive consequences.
Judging by publicly available information, the ransom amounts varied greatly, reaching up to $5,300,000 and $1,032,460 on average. The researchers noted that these figures do not accurately represent the final costs of an attack, as the long-term consequences are far more devastating.
To avoid such malware infilitrating organisations, Kaspersky has the following recommendations:
- It is essential to install all security updates as soon as they appear. Most cyberattacks are possible by exploiting vulnerabilities that have already been reported and addressed, so installing the latest security updates lowers the chances of an attack
- Protect remote access to corporate networks by VPN and use secure passwords for domain accounts.
- Always update your operating system to eliminate recent vulnerabilities and use a robust security solution with updated databases
- Always have fresh back-up copies of your files so you can replace them in case they are lost (e.g. due to malware or a broken device) and store them not only on the physical object but also in cloud storage for greater reliability
- Remember that ransomware is a criminal offence. You shouldn’t pay a ransom. If you become a victim, report it to your local law enforcement agency. Try to find a decryptor on the internet first – some of them are available for free here: https://noransom.kaspersky.com
- Educating the staff in cybersecurity hygiene is necessary to prevent attacks from happening. Kaspersky Interactive Protection Simulation Games offer a special scenario for local public administration that is focused on threats relevant for them.
- Use a security solution for organisation to protect business data from ransomware such as Kaspersky Endpoint Security for Business. The product has behaviour detection, anomaly control and exploit prevention capabilities that detect known and unknown threats and prevent malicious activity.
- One can enhance their preferred third-party security solution with free Kaspersky Anti-Ransomware Tool
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