Ransomware. Phishing Breaches. Exploits. Insider Threats.

Daniel Bohan
Sales Manager

December 15, 2022

Ransomware attacks can be devastating for businesses of all sizes. In addition to potentially costing thousands of dollars in ransom payments, these attacks can also disrupt operations and damage a company’s reputation. Fortunately, there are several steps that businesses in New Zealand can take to protect themselves from ransomware.

First, let’s talk about the numbers. According to a recent study, 60% of businesses hit by ransomware never fully recover, with many of these companies ultimately going out of business. This is a shocking statistic, and one that should be a wake-up call for businesses of all sizes.

You might think little ol’ New Zealand is immune. It is not. The situation in New Zealand is just as dire as anywhere else in the world. New Zealand is actually fertile ground for hackers and the huge increase in attacks here illustrate that fact. A recent survey found that nearly half of all businesses in New Zealand have experienced a ransomware attack, with nearly a third of these businesses never fully recovering. This means that if your business hasn’t yet experienced a ransomware attack, it’s only a matter of time before you do. That’s just math.

So, what can you do to protect your business from ransomware? 

Modern IT requires modern security. The old days of a firewall and antivirus just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to reach beyond the basics if you want to stand a chance against daily onslaught faced by your network and your staff.

First of all, I urge you to stop think of cyber security as defense. Be proactive and take your cyber security on the offensive.

Yes, a next gen firewall is important, but don’t stop there. Deploy a secure Zero Trust LAN system that carries your firewall policies across your local network.

Yes, antivirus is important, but it is not enough. Not even close to enough. Upgrade your antivirus to an advanced Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) tool. Take control of your environment with application allowlisting which will stop any app or executable that has not been whitelisted or approved from being able to run. Ransomware is a basically an application, so take proactive steps to prevent it from even being able to fire up.

Take the fight to these rogue ransomware viruses. Don’t let ransomware sit idle and undetected in your network – the sooner you find it, the less damage it can do. Deploy a threat hunting system to enable earlier detection and remove persistent footholds.

Stop focusing entirely on your machines. The number one cause of data breaches is your own staff. According to Verizon, 85% of all data breaches involve the human element. It’s time to put your focus on protecting your staff and protecting your organization from your staff, because either through maliciousness or misadventure, your staff are your most likely source of a cyber security incident.

Multifactor authentication should be an absolute requirement, as should robust identity management and conditional access policies. Another important step is to educate your employees about the dangers of ransomware and phishing. Many ransomware attacks succeed because employees click on malicious links or open infected email attachments. Set your team up with regular cyber security awareness training and phishing attack simulations to gain visibility on your vulnerability to email-based attacks.

Back everything up! The common misconception is that Microsoft 365 is backed up. It’s not. Ensure you have managed daily backups in place, not only for your servers, but for your 365 data as well.

Lastly, today’s hybrid workplace means that staff are consistently working in and out of the office. What good does your office firewall do when you are working from home, or from the field? A Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) system will provide your with consistent cloud firewall protection wherever you are via a secure global network.

Overall, the statistics around businesses recovering from ransomware are alarming, but there are steps you can take to protect your business. By being proactive and implementing strong security measures, you can reduce the risk of a ransomware attack and protect your business from this growing threat.

Layer3 will protect your network, applications and data from all angles with an arsenal of best-of-breed security services and systems. Every organization has its own particular risks and vulnerabilities, so we customize your cyber security strategies accordingly.

It’s time to up your security game. Contact Layer3 for the game plan.

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