The new year is almost here, and with it comes concern about your company's security. Specifically, many small and medium-sized businesses are coming to understand the danger cybercriminals pose to their organizations. In fact, a study from Kaspersky Lab found that the average SMB data breach costs around $117,000.
Although ransomware is certainly a scary topic, there are some precautions you can take to decrease your risk. Developing and implementing an on-going employee cybersecurity training program will help avoid workers falling victim to email attacks. There are also solutions available that can be easily implemented with minimal effort.
The failsafe, however, must be a rock-solid data recovery solution. In the event preventative measures are not successful and a system is compromised by ransomware, having the ability to quickly and easily restore is essential
Cybersecurity is a constantly changing field, and staying on top of it can be a challenge to say the least. However, there are some specific areas that organizations can focus on to increase their chances of detecting and stopping the worst attacks. To that end, let's take a look at some of the most important cybersecurity tips for 2018.
1. Ransomware-as-a-Service is growing
Ransomware has become a scourge of the business world, and for good reason. These malicious pieces of software gain control over a computer or network, encrypting the data and forcing the victim to pay in order to access it. Considering that time is money when running a company, even marginal downtime can cripple overall operations.
While ransomware itself is certainly a big problem, many experts believe it's about to get a lot worse. This is due to the rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service, or RaaS. According to SophosLabs 2018 Malware Forecast, experienced hackers are making a lot of money by selling ransomware kits on the dark web.
There are two reasons this should terrify small businesses.
First, RaaS basically opens the door to who can attack your company. Writing ransomware takes an enormous amount of skill, but just about anyone can go online and purchase a kit. Not only does this increase the number of potential cybercriminals, but it also adds a large amount of amateurs into the mix. One of the reasons the FBI tells businesses to never pay a ransomware hacker is that the criminal doesn't always decrypt your files. Someone who purchases a ransomware kit may not even know how to decrypt, making such an encounter all the more expensive.
"The RaaS business works like any other marketplace."
Second, it would appear that the RaaS business works like any other marketplace. There's a good deal of competition among vendors right now, and one of the ways sellers are trying to stand out is by introducing new features. SophosLabs found that aspects like decrypting sections of files or "ransomware immunity" are hot ticket items for buyers on the dark web. These features mean stronger malware for the hacker, which translates to more issues for the victim.
Although ransomware is certainly a scary topic, there are some precautions you can take to decrease your risk. Teaching employees not to click links sent to them from unknown email addresses is a great way to avoid an infection, while restricting access to disreputable sites can also help.
2. You'll need to spend more on security to keep up
Ransomware is one of the biggest specific cybersecurity concerns, but it's only one of many. Hackers use a litany of attacks to gain access to your systems, and the only way to truly stay safe is to invest in a robust security platform.
What's more, it looks like most companies are seeing the importance of a good defense. A study from Tech Pro Research found that 53 percent of IT officials stated that security was going to be a "top priority" for 2018's budget.
The worst thing that can happen to a business is being left behind, and this research shows it's time for SMBs to take control of their cybersecurity. Take the new year as a good opportunity to beef up defenses, and be proactive and ever-vigilant about security before something damaging occurs.
3. The cloud is becoming more secure every day
Although the cloud's future has always been bright, research from Gartner shows just how secure it will be. The technology company used current models to predict that by 2020 public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service platforms are going to have 60 percent fewer security issues than regular data centers. Additionally, the companies that work to incorporate cloud visibility and control tools will suffer around 33 percent fewer problems.
Faith in the cloud's ability to keep data safe has been shaky for some, but this clearly shows that the time to invest in the technology is now. Security issues are lessening every day, and cloud vendors are implementing better systems for customers. Therefore, if you've been holding out on deploying the cloud due to concerns over the safety of your data, 2018 should finally be the year you decide to move forward.
Cybersecurity is a difficult topic to predict, but we can see clear trends. Following and reacting to these trends accordingly can help your company overcome the worst scenarios.