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Has Your Staff Been Properly Trained To Guard Against Any Cyber Attack

Cyber threats are more prevalent than ever, and many of them have become worryingly sophisticated. Hackers and scammers are constantly coming up with new variations on old tricks in the hopes of outsmarting cyber security measures and outwitting their targets. And it’s that focus on forcing end-user participation that is the real cause for concern.

Next-gen firewalls and other advanced cyber security solutions are more than capable of filtering out malicious content and fending off intrusions, but when a hacker chooses to target your team instead of your network, they can often work around your defenses. Tactics like phishing emails continue to be very effective tools for gaining access to your important business data, not because they’re especially well-crafted, but because they rely on fooling the recipient into giving the hacker exactly what they want.

This human element is the reason perimeter and internal network controls are only a piece of the never-ending battle to protect yourself from threats like ransomware. One of the most important and frequently overlooked aspects is end-user awareness testing and training (EUATT). We at Global Data Systems (GDS) place a heavy emphasis on EUATT, and always recommend implementing our clients make use of available services that continually test, report, train, and re-test to ensure end-user understanding and compliance that maximizes your organization’s ability to avoid costly and sometimes catastrophic downtime.

Ransomware Continues To Threaten Businesses Against New England

The recent study, “Second Annual State of Ransomware Report,” surveyed 1,054 companies with less than 1,000 employees across North America, France, U.K., Germany, Australia, and Singapore. This report explores ransomware attack frequency, impacts of attacks in small and mid-sized business (SMB) environments, costs of attacks, attitudes towards ransom payments, preparedness, and several other factors.

This report uncovered some worrisome results:

  • More than one-third of businesses have experienced a ransomware attack in the last year.
  • Twenty-two percent of these impacted businesses had to cease operations immediately.
  • For roughly one in six impacted organizations, a ransomware infection caused 25 or more hours of downtime, with some organizations reporting that it caused systems to be down for more than 100 hours.
  • Most organizations make addressing ransomware a high priority, but still lack confidence in their ability to deal with it. Seventy-five percent of organizations surveyed place a high or very high priority on addressing the ransomware problem. Despite these investments, nearly one-half of the organizations surveyed expressed little to only moderate confidence in their ability to stop a ransomware attack.
  • 27 percent of organizations that suffered a ransomware infection, decision makers could not identify how the endpoint(s) became infected. Further, more than one-third of ransomware infections spread to other devices.
  • SMBs in the U.S. are being hit harder than SMBs in Europe by malicious emails containing ransomware. The most common source of ransomware infections in U.S.-based organizations was related to email use. Thirty-seven percent of attacks on SMBs in the U.S. were reported as coming from a malicious email attachment, and 27 percent were from a malicious link in an email.
  • Most SMBs do not believe in paying ransomware demands. Seventy-two percent of respondents believe that ransomware demands should never be paid. Most of the remaining organizations believe that demands should only be paid if the encrypted data is of value to the organization. Among organizations that chose not to pay cybercriminals’ ransom demands, about one-third lost files as a result.
  • Current investments in technology might not be enough. Over one-third of SMBs claim to have been running anti-ransomware technologies, while about one-third of businesses surveyed still experienced a ransomware attack.

Is Your Company Up To Speed On How To Guard Against A Cyber Threat?

Still, of the companies surveyed, over 50% of organizations only perform EUATT once per year or less, and almost 80% perform less than twice per year! That means there are a whole lot of businesses out there whose staff has little to no idea what types of threats are out there targeting SMBs, and are completely unprepared to handle these threats if and when your business is targeted.

Our program continually performs testing, reporting, training, and retesting to ensure your end-users understand and adhere to organizational compliance standards. GDS’ goal is to provide each of our clients with the tools and technologies needed to negate the costly and sometimes catastrophic results of outside threats and ransomware. Above all, we want to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your cyber security investment, and have the resources and support you need to protect your business under any and all circumstances.

You can check out the full report at https://go.malwarebytes.com/OstermanRansomware2017 to learn more about the impact threats like ransomware have on businesses like yours, and download a copy of our FREE {Cyber Security Tips For End-Users} checklist to go over with your staff.

Ready to make your employees your business’ first line of defense against cyber threats? Contact Global Data Systems at info@GDSConnect.com or (888) 849-6818 today to learn more about the EUATT services we offer. We’re the cyber security professionals New England businesses trust.

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