Ransomware Apocalypse: A Survival Guide

One of the scariest cyber attacks is Ransomware, aptly named because it’s the digital equivalent of a kidnapping, only they steal your data, and you pay ransom to get it back. It has become the bane of our digital existence and with generative AI, the numbers of hackers committing ransomware attacks continues to expand. No business or individual is immune including, legal professionals. While I’m sure we would all like to think it’s not going to happen to us, there are things we can do to be less of a target. I’ve put together some tips on how you can empower your organization with a Ransomware Survival Kit.

Backup Like Your Digital Life Depends on It (Because It Does): Keep three copies of your data: one primary and two backups and store backups on different media types such as network shares, and cloud storage.

Patch Those Digital Leaks: Update your software faster than a caffeinated squirrel on a mission. Vulnerabilities are the chinks in your digital armor.

Fun fact: Ransomware attackers hate well-patched systems—it’s like garlic to a vampire. In the Sophos, State of Ransomware 2023 Report, sophos-state-of-ransomware-2023-wp.pdf exploited vulnerabilities was the most common cause of ransomware attacks at 36% which means backing up all software that you use is critical.

Train your team like they are Ransomware Dummies: No seriously, you need to train your team on how to spot phishing and malicious emails and ensure everyone in your organization knows what to do in case they accidentally click on such on an email. It only takes one click for an attacker to get access to your system and then eventually they get access to your data. The more trained you and your team are the more armor you have in place to repel attacks.

Develop an Incident Response Plan. Would you fly if pilots were not trained to handle emergencies? Cyber attacks are emergencies have a plan in place to deal with them. Every legal business has a process for wiring money or dealing with an emergency you need to apply the same thinking to cyber attacks.

Free Resources: There are lots of resources you can go to learn about Ransomware and what you can do to arm yourself and your organization against cybercrime.

Canadian Centre for Cyber Security: Website Link

  • One stop shopping for a lot of information on cybersecurity as well as helpful guidance to help individuals, small and medium businesses, and large businesses combat cybercrime.

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre: Website Link.

  • You can report fraud through their website filling out a simple form or report by phone 1-888-495-8501.
  • The site provides information on fraud and identity theft.
  • They have a great newsletter you can subscribe to that will keep you and your organization up to date on what’s the latest scams are in Canada.

There is even a free cybersecurity conference you can attend online June 11-13, put on by Syber X, titled “Operation Defend the North, a Canadian Cybersecurity Readiness Exercise.”

To register go to siberX | Operation Defend the North 2024

Remember, in the battle against ransomware, vigilance is your secret weapon.

Kim Krushell, Co-Founder