One of the more significant threats facing business owners right now is not just the COVID-19 virus, but just like the virus, you can’t see it, and it puts you, your employees, and your customers at risk.
It’s ransomware, and it could cause irreparable harm to your organization and your reputation!
In case you’re not familiar, ransomware is a type of malicious software that will hold your computer systems hostage until you pay a hacker a sum of money to unlock them.
Typically, it arrives in the form of an email, which includes a download or link, and it has been designed to trick a user into clicking. Once clicked, the computer system is invaded by malicious code, locking the user out of files, folders, and even the system itself.
Sometimes you’ll get lucky, and you can hire a company who can help, but in most cases, the only way to get it off your system is to pay the ransom, and hope you get the key to decrypt your files.
Let me be clear folks; hackers are after your digital information and money, and they will stop at nothing to get their greasy fingers on them, but there are ways of protecting your business.
Now, I am not an IT or cybersecurity expert. I strongly recommend you find an expert who will help you cover the technical aspects of ransomware protection. In this article, I’m strictly covering the management and cultural changes that need to occur to protect your organization.
- Keep up to date with the current ransomware lures. This can include hooks about coronavirus vaccines, financials, free downloads, and “critical system updates.” Be sure to share what you find with your staff regularly.
- Establish a simple and clear company policy when it comes to suspicious communications. If an employee receives a suspicious email, flag it, or have them pick up the phone and verbally confirm it with the sender.
- Test, test, and test some more. Find a security service that will test your employees through simulated ransomware emails. It will give you a great insight into the effectiveness of your training and systems.
- Create a positive atmosphere of accountability. The worst thing you can do is make an employee feel shamed for making a mistake. Your staff needs to understand that making a mistake is one thing, but trying to cover it up out of fear of retribution is a recipe for disaster.
They should feel empowered to reach out to your IT department and their management if a mistake is made.
Ransomware, malware, and hackers aren’t going anywhere, and they will only continue to threaten your business. I strongly implore you to start educating and protecting your business against this real threat.
If you have any questions about establishing a company culture of accountability, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.