People are the biggest threat to cybersecurity, especially ransomware, that insidious, increasing threat currently wreaking havoc on businesses of all sizes. In 2022, there were 493 million reported ransomware attacks around the globe. Conversely, the first and best line of defense against ransomware is your people.
How can you shift your mindset from human liability to asset to better promote business cybersecurity? It begins with initiatives that create a culture of ransomware awareness in your business.
Here’s what you can do right now to empower your workforce to fight back against ransomware attacks.
The Yin and Yang of Ransomware Awareness in Cybersecurity
Cybercrime will cause $11 trillion in damages this year. The biggest point of vulnerability is a company’s team; often, a ransomware attack starts with an individual.
Ransomware attacks are malicious software (malware) placed on a victim’s computer that is designed to encrypt the victim’s files. The software demands payment (ransom) for a decryption key to restore access to those files. These attacks typically begin with an unsuspecting user clicking on a malicious link or opening an email attachment. The link installs the ransomware program on the victim’s computer and any connected network drives. The encryption renders all files unreadable without the key held by the attacker.
One click can unleash ransomware into your infrastructure. IBM reports 95% of cybersecurity breaches stem from this type of human error. Nineteen of every 20 cybersecurity breaches are preventable with human vigilance.
Human error can also manifest in other ways. Weak passwords or giving up sensitive information to a phishing email can counteract all the technical security your organization employs to fight cyberterrorism. Failing to install a security upgrade or to run a backup opens the door to damage should a ransomware attack occur.
When it comes to ransomware security, your people leave you vulnerable. This reality makes humans the yin-yang of cybersecurity. Given this, what is your best line of defense? How can you empower a high level of ransomware awareness in your organization to prevent an attack?
Why You Need Ransomware Awareness Training
Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common and sophisticated. IBM reports in 2022 the average ransomware attack cost $4.54 million. These attacks result in losing important data, financial losses and reputational damage. One effective way to combat the ransomware threat is through awareness training.
Ransomware training for employees can:
- Help individuals and organizations understand the risks and threats associated with ransomware attacks. Through awareness training, employees and stakeholders learn about the different types of ransomware attacks and how they work. They also learn to recognize the signs of an attack, such as unusual pop-up messages, slow system performance or the sudden appearance of new files or directories.
- Help individuals and organizations develop best practices for preventing and responding to ransomware attacks. For example, employees can learn how to recognize phishing emails and other social engineering tactics that attackers use to access a victim’s system. They can also learn why and how to back up their data regularly and securely so that they can recover from an attack without paying a ransom.
- Keep your organization up to date with the latest trends and developments in ransomware attacks. Attackers are continually developing new tactics and techniques to evade detection and infect systems, and it can be difficult for individuals and organizations to keep pace. Through awareness training, however, employees can learn about the latest threats and how to defend against them, ensuring they are always one step ahead.
By investing in ransomware awareness training, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to security and protecting their data and assets. Ransomware awareness training for employees can also build trust with customers and other stakeholders and improve the organization’s reputation and brand image.
Ultimately, ongoing ransomware training for employees can help companies create a healthy cybersecurity culture. These targeted efforts to train your internal teams should be part of a multi-faceted strategy to test your business ransomware protection.
Test Your Ransomware Awareness to Further Mitigate Risk
Ransomware training for employees is step one toward a more robust cybersecurity infrastructure that should also include:
- Risk assessments search for holes in your safety net, testing end users’ awareness across an attack surface. Importantly, these efforts review and revise incident response plans should a data breach occur. The process ensures employees understand what to do if they inadvertently click on a malicious email.
- Penetration testing simulates a malicious bad actor attack from internal or external sources. For best results, these tests can be conducted blindly as a covert confirmation of your employee’s ransomware awareness.
- Vulnerability scanning is an overarching test of your end-to-end IT network architecture. A vulnerability scan is appropriately named; cybersecurity experts use the best technology and techniques to test everything from security patches to remote endpoints, searching diligently for any gaps that leave you exposed to a cyber breach.
Ransomware Awareness Starts with Sikich
Keeping your business safe requires awareness of the ever-changing threats of cybersecurity breaches. Creating a culture of cybersecurity awareness around ransomware or other threats starts with Sikich. Our teams work to raise ransomware awareness through training and testing.
Find out how the Sikich cybersecurity team can raise ransomware awareness in your business. Talk with our experts today for a better cybersecurity footprint tomorrow.