7 Ways to Protect Your Customers from Ransomware Attacks

In the world of cyberthreats, there’s almost nothing more dreaded than ransomware. This tool of choice for the money-minded cybercriminal is gaining in popularity. At least one in three companies have now been victimized by ransomware attacks coming from sources like CryptoLocker and CryptoWall, and even more are expected to get in on this very lucrative new business of extortion.

Of course, it’s no wonder why since studies have shown that ransomware is big business. One hospital near Hollywood recently had their network shut down and held for a $3.7 million ransom.

According to a 2016 U.S. Government interagency report:

“Ransomware is the fastest growing malware threat, targeting users of all types—from the home user to the corporate network. On average, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks have occurred daily since January 1, 2016. This is a 300-percent increase over the approximately 1,000 attacks per day seen in 2015.”

As the threat of ransomware escalates, it also becomes more challenging to detect and protect against. With the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT), many are experiencing an equally exponential rise in the frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks. In fact, for many, the tidal wave of threats has quickly become more than their business can handle.

If you ever needed proof that cyberthreats are outpacing our ability to keep up with them, just consider this: Hackers in Japan have hijacked over 300 smart TVs with ransomware attacks in the last year, locking people out of their own televisions until they pay up—typically around $100 within 72 hours.

Similar attacks have taken place around the globe against smart appliances—including refrigerators, microwaves and washing machines—and even healthcare devices like mobile insulin pumps and health-monitoring devices.

Is there any way to prevent these types of attacks from hitting your customers?

Thankfully, yes.

Top 7 ways to protect your customers from ransomware attacks:

  1. Communicate the dangers of ransomware to customers and teach them how to avoid downloading malicious apps from third-party websites.
  2. Enable strong spam filters to prevent phishing emails from infiltrating your defenses and authenticate inbound email to prevent spoofing.
  3. Scan all outgoing and incoming email to detect threats and filter executable files.
  4. Use next-generation firewall technology designed to detect advanced threats.
  5. Configure access controls—including file, directory and network share permissions—to restrict users with the least privilege to write access-only status.
  6. Create a tailored response to cyberthreats with a set of automated policies.
  7. Consider disabling Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) if it’s not being used.

These are only the bare minimum steps to consider if you want to protect your customers from ransomware attacks, but there are many more steps to take if your goal is to completely harden your cybersecurity framework to lock out the threat entirely.

To learn more, contact your Ingram Micro Account Manager today!

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