ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) – Earlier this week, a Virginia legislative agency was hit by a ransomware attack.
These are unfortunately more and more common, from the government to the Colonial Pipeline.
We spoke with local experts on how to keep yourself safe and your workplace safe as cybercriminals get smarter and richer.
âIn 2020, there were almost a trillion dollars in losses. This is an increase from $ 500 billion in 2018. The average disruption takes a business offline for 18 hours. They don’t always manage to get paid, but they almost always succeed in disrupting a business, âsays Eric Thompson, director at Advanced Logic Industries. âThe average disruption per business costs around $ 750,000. “
âEvery business should assume it’s going to be hacked,â says Dr. Aaron Brantly, professor at Virginia Tech and director of the Tech for Humanity Lab. He describes hacking an organization as an incredibly easy task these days. âEveryone faces these challenges. Virginia Tech has removed administrator privileges for all faculty and staff. It is happening across the country and around the world. “
As a general rule, he recommends that companies follow the principle of least privilege.
âIf an employee doesn’t need access to a particular software or system, then don’t give it to them. Keep these privileges as low as possible and reserve top-level access only to those in leadership positions, âsays Dr. Brantly.
Additionally, business owners can add admin controls to be proactive against cybercriminals and train employees to recognize what may be a ransomware attack, using caution when opening links through e -mail.
“You basically control the IT environment over something that is limited to your needs or wants and prevents them from installing software that may have been obtained illegally or software that could provide a gateway to your business,” explains Dr. Brantly. âDon’t email them links without telling them. Better to send them to a common repository such as Google Drive which scans the documents as you upload and download them.
Two-factor authentication in all services like email and payroll can prevent over 90% of all cyber attacks, which could prevent your personal and business information from being sold on the dark web.
Experts also advise having a good backup system, which can make rebuilding your cyberspace easier than having to shell out thousands of ransomware.
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