An airliner in India has been forced to cancel and delay flights, due to a ransomware attack that has left some customers stranded at airports or even inside planes. SpiceJet says the incident tried to encrypt the company’s IT systems. Even though the IT team was able to contain and remedy the situation, this has had a cascading effect on the flights, ultimately leading to unwanted delays. If this event has taught us anything, it’s that ransomware is still a prevalent vector for cyberattacks. Who better to know this than our team of IT consultants in Seattle WA, who have seen firsthand what ransomware does to individuals and businesses? For today’s blog post, let’s discuss the impact of ransomware attacks and what can be done to rectify these situations.

More Info On The SpiceJet Ransomware Attacks Case

At this time, it’s unclear which ransomware strain infected SpiceJet’s system. However, ransomware programs are typically designed to spread themselves across a company’s computers and then encrypt all the information inside. Even though SpiceJet says it was able to contain the attack, the company’s corporate website still appears to be down. On Twitter, SpiceJet added that “some flights to airports where there are restrictions on night operations have been canceled. SpiceJet is in touch with experts and cyber crime authorities on the issue.”

What This Teaches Us About The Growing Concern Of Ransomware

When issues like these come about, it puts our IT consultants in Seattle WA on high alert. Ransomware is a force to be reckoned with, and it cannot, no, it should not be ignored. The form of malware is continually used by cybercriminals to freeze your computer or mobile phone. Once this happens, these attackers are able to steal your data, and will demand a ransom payment (ranging from a couple of hundred to even thousands of dollars)! Between 2019 and 2020, ransomware attacks rose by 62% worldwide, and by 158% in North America, alone. The FBI received nearly 2500 ransomware complaints in 2020, up 20% from 2019, according to findings compiled in the Internet Crime Report

The collective cost of the ransomware attacks that were reported to the bureau in 2020 amounted to about $29.1 million, up more than 200% from the $8.9 million in the previous year. The bottom line is–ransomware attacks are on the rise. Anyone can be a potential target. However, if you are cognizant of the appropriate preventative measures, you will greatly mitigate your chances of being intercepted by these attackers. 

What Can Be Done To Stop Or Prevent Ransomware Attacks?

You might be asking, why are ransomware attacks increasing? The simple answer is because it’s a proverbial get rich quick scheme for a lot of these criminals. More companies are choosing to pay the ransom to get their data back, and cybercriminals are taking note of it. We think this is absolutely ludicrous. Which is why we are so passionate in imparting wisdom on the best ways to prevent ransomware in the first place. Here are some tips that our IT consultants in Seattle WA believe are the most practical and efficient:

Be Proactive, Not Reactive

The first step in dealing with any kind of cybercrime is to be proactive, as opposed to reactive. Be proactive, and engage expertise that you don’t have, before you are hit with ransomware. Companies should be reaching out to us to devise strategies for stopping these attacks before they even start. For starters, you should get into the habit of backing up every piece of data you have, and invest in insurance policies that cover cyberattacks. 

Provide Education For Your Employees

You cannot put a price on knowledge. If you have prior knowledge on how to spot ransomware attacks, it significantly cuts down the likelihood of these attacks. Your employees are your first line of defense for combatting online threats. With the proper training, it becomes easier to stop malware before it becomes a bigger issue. This type of initiative will only come about if your organization creates a strong security program, paired with an employee education course. You would be surprised at how helpful this can be. 

Implement A Data Backup And Recovery Plan

If you haven’t already created one, now is a better time than any to create a data backup and recovery plan. In the event of an attack, a backup will lessen the impact of potential malware threats. Our IT consultants in Seattle WA recommend that you store the data offline or on a separate device.

Watch Out For Suspicious Email Links 

Emails are some of the most common methods for tricking businesses into giving up their information, unbeknownst to them. A majority of your employees will already have the know how for spotting suspicious emails, but every so often, someone will fall victim to clicking a suspicious email or pop up link.

Thwarting Ransomware Attacks For The Sake Of Your Organization: Partnering With A Team Of IT Consultants In Seattle WA

RHYNO Networks has your back, no matter the cause. If your business is in need of IT oversight in the Seattle area, contact us today to see how our cutting-edge solutions can help.