4 Critical Steps to Lower Your Organization’s Ransomware Risk

The Pandemic’s Transition to Remote Work Means SMBs Are At Much Greater Risk For A Cyberattack

 By Todd Croteau, All Covered: The still-evolving pandemic has necessitated many changes in the workplace, chief among them being the move to remote work, aka work from home (WFH). WFH has become a permanent part of many businesses due to the range of benefits it offers – reduced overhead and travel expenses for employers, and more flexibility and work-life balance for employees.

But this move also presents more threats to the security of your business than you might think. Employees working from home (and other locations) and using a wide variety of devices require businesses to revisit their IT security practices and set-ups, especially for those not used to remote work. Otherwise, your business could be risking an exorbitantly expensive ransomware attack. Palo Alto Networks recently reported that the average ransomware payment has climbed 82 percent since 2020, to a record $570,000 in the first half of 2021.

Also consider these chilling facts from our recent survey among IT decisionmakers in Europe:

  • 48 percent have had a security breach within their organization’s IT in the past two years.
  • One in six companies has experienced a severe ransomware incident during that same timeframe.
  • Of those polled, 37 percent attribute a virus, malware or general security threat specifically to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
  • According to the cybersecurity firm SonicWall, ransomware attacks rose by 62 percent worldwide and by 158 percent in North America alone.
  • The FBI received nearly 2,500 ransomware complaints in 2020, up about 20 percent from 2019, according to its annual Internet Crime Report.

The good news is that you can build on your existing protocols and solutions to achieve a higher level of security in the WFH era. So if you haven’t done so already, it’s time to revisit your IT security set-up, especially if remote work is a key part of your network. Here are four ways to reduce your organization’s risk of a ransomware attack and other security threats:

1: Endpoint security – protect your network from threats entering in the first place

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