Three essential steps to improve IT security

As citizens become more familiar with the value of their data, any negligence, misuse or lack of adequate protection has moved into the limelight of possible problems for businesses. With the rise of class action lawsuits and lawsuits from consumer groups, the responsibility to protect against ransomware and other cyberattacks that threaten user data and privacy has become more critical than ever for businesses.

As the global pandemic accelerated the increase in the proportion of people around the world switching to remote work, cybersecurity took center stage. According to Veeam’s Data Protection Trends 2022 Report, 84% of Indian organizations experienced ransomware attacks last year, making cyberattacks a leading cause of downtime for the second consecutive year. Those who were successfully attacked lost an average of 36% of their data per attack. It’s obvious that ransomware isn’t slowing down as we approach 2023.

However, there has been a significant shift in schemes: targets have moved to larger organizations, and the business model that governs how ransomware attacks occur has advanced. A recent study has revealed that recently major organizations such as Spice Jet, Oil India, BSNL, Telangana Power Utilities and others have fallen prey to data breaches and cyber security attacks.

While ransomware attacks have seen an alarming increase globally, India specifically saw a 13% increase last year, which is a bigger jump than the last five years combined, according to a recent Verizon report. The increase in ransomware attacks against businesses has led organizations to opt for various security measures; however, the delay in implementing technical and infrastructural changes has made them more vulnerable to cyberattacks. A ransomware attack can cost nearly $2 million per incident and have a global economic impact of over $20 billion.

As citizens become more familiar with the value of their data, any negligence, misuse or lack of adequate protection has moved into the limelight of possible problems for businesses. With the rise of class action lawsuits and lawsuits from consumer groups, the responsibility to protect against ransomware and other cyberattacks that threaten user data and privacy has become more critical than ever for businesses.

The other reason data and privacy has become such a big topic is timing. A recent Trend Micro survey found Asia-Pacific to be the second most vulnerable region in the world to cyberattacks, after North America. Ransomware attacks ranked among the top five cyber threats in the region, while confidence in business preparedness lagged: 86% of survey respondents believed they would be hacked in the next 12 month.

As a result of this information, business leaders should sit up and take note: data breaches are no longer a problem that exists within a business itself; they also sit at board level. Going forward, business leaders should expect growing momentum to ensure the right cybersecurity measures are in place. Here are three things to keep in mind when implementing security measures.

Emphasize the importance of cybersecurity training for all

Ransomware has the ability to spread through a system like wildfire, but it needs an entry point, such as an infected email, attachment, or app. Regardless of their role, any member of an organization has the ability to direct ransomware into the system. Thorough, regular and up-to-date training on cybersecurity best practices is the best preventive measure to keep systems and profits safe. So make sure the company’s cybersecurity plan gives them the resources they need.

Keep anti-virus and malware software up-to-date

Up-to-date anti-virus and malware software can help detect and eliminate the most common ransomware payloads. Like any software, it requires frequent updates, but if used correctly, it can keep your company’s systems clean with minimal downtime and interruptions.

Prepare a secure backup

If protections fail and a business finds itself in a ransomware attack, a system can be accessed again by restoring it from a secure and reliable backup, saving the business the downtime of downtime, loss of data and an often costly ransom. Veeam’s Ransomware Protection, for example, can restore an organization’s data and system while meeting compliance standards, with real-time updates and alerts. Before restoring the system, the backup scans files for malware and provides flexible storage options for a range of files. Today, ransomware attacks are much more common than before. These attacks may not result in significant financial losses for organizations, but they will most certainly lose the trust of its stakeholders and customers. With the proper cybersecurity infrastructure and training in place, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and protect themselves against such attacks in the future.

(Dave Russell is Vice President (Enterprise Strategy) at Veeam and Sandeep Bhambure is Vice President, Veeam India and SAARC)

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