Everyone is talking about ransomware these days, and with good reason. Attacks are on the rise, and victimized businesses face the choice of either paying thousands of dollars in ransom or never seeing their business data again.
You may be tempted to say, “We’re a small business. There’s no way we would be a target!” But cybercriminals don’t discriminate. It’s actually much easier for them to attack dozens of smaller businesses and demand ransoms of, say, $5,000 each, than it is for them to hack into a Fortune 100 company and demand millions.
The Russia-Ukraine war is bringing ransomware attacks even further into the spotlight. In fact, President Biden recently warned U.S. companies that according to the latest intelligence, Russia may very well target them with cyberattacks. As Biden noted, Russia’s cyber capabilities are impressive, and U.S. businesses should protect themselves with technical countermeasures.
Don’t be the company that thought a cyberattack couldn’t happen to them. Here are some simple measures you can take to prevent ransomware attacks by ensuring an adequate level of cyber security in the workplace.
- Be careful what you open—or send.
We all know not to open attachments from senders we don’t recognize. But it’s easy to see a company name we trust (for example, our bank) and click the attachment, not realizing that the email didn’t actually come from that company. So take the time to be sure.
Also, be aware that when you send an attachment, it will pass through your internet service provider (ISP) and the recipient’s ISP before reaching the inbox. If a hacker gains access to either of these networks, they can read the document you attached—or even change its content for malicious purposes. So don’t send any attachments you wouldn’t want the world to see.
- Be careful what you click.
If you happen to open an email from an unknown source, don’t click any links. This applies to text messages, too. In one popular scam nowadays, people posing as shipping companies send links that are supposedly for tracking a package. Most of us are constantly expecting packages, so it’s easy to get fooled.
- Check URLs.
Sometimes scammers do a good job of imitating the look and feel of an email from a major corporation, such as a bank. If you’re at all uncertain about the legitimacy of an email, look closely at the URL in the link they’re asking you to click. It may be just one letter different from the real company’s website.
Of course, many emails provide an abbreviated URL for you to click, so it’s impossible for you to verify that it’s legitimate. If you’re at all unsure, don’t click. Instead, visit the company’s website directly.
- Check senders.
Ever get those emails that say they’re from a friend of yours? But then the message itself doesn’t sound like them—and they’re asking you to click a mysterious link? Try putting your mouse pointer over the sender’s name to display their email address. You’ll probably discover that it’s not your friend’s email address after all.
- Be careful on all devices (not just computers).
Cyber security in the workplace is about more than just putting antivirus software on your desktops and laptops. Employees should remember that mobile devices are even more susceptible to malicious attacks. Apps without security, poor password selection, and outdated devices are just a few examples of why hackers go straight for mobile devices.
- Maintain awareness of all your digital actions.
When you’re in line at a coffee shop, you probably don’t think twice about checking your work email from your phone. You may even log onto the free wi-fi to do so. But if there are malicious actors on the network, they can intercept anything you send or receive. It only takes an instant for a security breach to happen.
Do More to Increase Cyber Security in the Workplace
Following these simple tips can have a big impact on keeping your data secure. But no matter how effective your policies may be and how diligent your employees are in following them, don’t forget that there will always be human error. We all get fooled or let our guard down from time to time.
So why not add another layer of precaution? You can further enhance cyber security in the workplace by storing files not on your computers, but in a highly secure cloud location. Although there are many handy, affordable cloud storage solutions available that claim to be “safe,” they don’t provide the level of security your business data deserves. As soon as a hacker steals a username and password from one of your employees, they can access your confidential documents.
With the Cocoon Data file sharing platform, you get greater protection. You can implement policy controls to ensure that only authorized employees can access certain documents. You can also put limits on the physical locations in which people can open documents, which helps prevent overseas hackers from accessing your files. And because your files are individually encrypted, even a hacker who gains unauthorized access to an account will be unable to open documents once they’re in a folder.
Cocoon Data may be the right solution to help you boost cyber security in the workplace. Why not give it a try with our free 7 day trial.