Ransomware attacks are one of the most devastating forms of attack a small business can suffer. Often, a successful one can mean a business closes its doors because of double or triple extortion, and once an attack happens, it can be extremely difficult to recover in the best of circumstances. Small businesses must make prevention a high priority and identify strategic ways to not become a victim. There are a few common routes of attack malicious actors will try to take and knowing about these three common attack vectors for ransomware can help you avoid becoming apart of another statistic!
Unpatched Systems and Devices
It is not uncommon for malicious actors to investigate a company’s public facing infrastructure and look for a weak point. Often, this weak point can be an unpatched device or system, which lets the bad actor take advantage of a well-known exploit that recent patches have fixed. This means that machines that have not been patched in a long time are vulnerable, but sometimes a single update can mean the difference between thwarting a successful attack or not. Unpatched systems present an enormous attack surface for hackers because it only takes a single device on the network to be one update behind to potentially cause a ransomware attack!
Phishing attacks are the starting point for many scams and malware campaigns, but the most dangerous ones are the well-crafted, difficult to detect phishing emails that malicious actors will craft for their campaigns. These attack strategies can include social engineering elements that impersonate coworkers or intricately built webpages that mimic common services the attacker knows a business uses. Employees must be on their guard for phishing emails that are more sophisticated than the low-effort attacks people get in their inbox every day. Additionally, for a ransomware attack, hackers can target anyone in the business because even a low-ranking employee will give them the access needed to encrypt the network.
Repeat Ransomware Attacks
Malicious actors like to get paid, and this means that if a business has shown that it will pay a ransom the first time, those hackers will likely try to attack the business again. Subsequent attacks become easier to execute as well because the bad actors will have gained information on the company’s cybersecurity infrastructure while they kept it hostage. Known vulnerabilities will be used to come back again later, and it can be difficult for the business to fix every attack vector after they have paid a hefty ransom to the attackers.
Ransomware attacks are a threat that every small business should take great care to avoid. One unpatched system or a single employee clicking a malicious link can lead to a malicious actor encrypting your network and stealing critical data. They may then go after clients or related businesses, but if they are successful once, they may certainly keep coming back. Here at Robinett Consulting, we know that a strong cybersecurity defense is the best deterrent for attacks, and a layered security approach is a business’ best way to prevent ransomware attacks!
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