The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the critical importance of cyber security in today’s ever-evolving digital environment. As we investigate potential problems, such as phishing or ransomware attacks, it’s clear that managed IT services and cyber security services play an important role in strengthening our security.

This article explores how managed IT services and custom software solutions can optimize backup and recovery services, enhance network security, and provide managed cyber security services to protect businesses from these digital threats. 

What is Ransomware?

At the heart of the cyber security war is ransomware—a malicious threat that encrypts, renders inaccessible, and holds users’ data hostage. Typically, attackers demand a large ransom in cryptocurrency for a decryption key, but paying the ransom doesn’t always result in data recovery. Over time, ransomware has become more sophisticated with advanced delivery methods. 

Managed IT services are essential in protecting against ransomware attacks, providing expert network security analytics, and robust backup and recovery services. Their fully managed cyber security services protect those computers against these vile enemies.

What is Phishing?

Phishing is a constant threat in the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats. Cybercriminals use this fraudulent tactic by sending fraudulent emails and websites to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information. Phishing attacks are becoming more sophisticated and designed to target specific users. Identifying and blocking phishing attempts is essential to protecting sensitive data. 

IT service management provides comprehensive network security solutions, including cyber security management services and custom software. Companies in Toronto and beyond can use their expertise to protect against cyber threats. 

Reasons for Increased Ransomware and Phishing Attacks

Not surprisingly, cybercriminals resort to the worst methods to exploit cyber security weaknesses. That’s why businesses are encouraged to work with IT service management and cyber security experts to mitigate threats. The rise in ransomware and phishing attacks can be attributed to several factors. 

  1. Cybercriminals have become more professional, exploiting security vulnerabilities to greater success.
  2. Bitcoin’s anonymity makes it the perfect currency to rob victims of these attacks, allowing them to invest in the cryptocurrency. 
  3. Older computers often remain unpatched and outdated, making them an easy target because IT departments may be reluctant to upgrade because of the potential for leaks ground due to operating system updates. 
  4. Employees are sometimes properly trained to detect and avoid malicious email attachments, which are a common entry point for ransomware attacks.

How to Reduce Attacks

Protecting against ransomware and phishing requires a proactive approach. The most effective step is to back up your important files regularly. That ensures that even if your data is encrypted, you still have a safe copy to restore. Consider the following steps, along with a regular backup. 

  • Update all software after following the regular maintenance schedule. 
  • Stop old workstations or servers that cannot be upgraded to eliminate the risk they pose to your network. 
  • Limit administrator accounts and create separate user accounts for each employee in workspaces. • Verify your backup by checking the data recovery process to ensure everything is available when needed. 
  • Regularly train employees to identify and avoid exploitation capture efforts, as properly trained employees can significantly reduce the spread of ransomware. 

Smart Ways to Detect Phishing Scams

Don’t click on links when you receive an email alert from your bank or larger institution. Instead, open a new browser window and type the website address directly into the URL field to verify it. Usually, reputable companies won’t ask for sensitive information via email, so if you receive such a request, delete the email immediately and contact the company directly through their official channel to make sure whether the situation is true. 

Be careful when handling email attachments, especially those from unfamiliar sources, as they may contain malware. Beware of embedded links; instead go directly to the website by typing the correct URL in your browser to verify any requests.

Responding to Attacks

As an organization, you must be constantly vigilant to ensure you are not becoming a victim. However, mistakes are part of the game, and in the near future, you may recover at some point. But if you suspect a ransomware or phishing attack, follow these steps to respond. 

  1. To save memory and hide sensitive information about the attack, take a snapshot of your system and shut it down. 
  2. Consider blocking all remote desktop access and email attachments until the source of the attack is identified. 
  3. Assess the damage and determine the area of ​​attack. 
  4. Use your backup plan to restore your systems, depending on what was affected. 
  5. If you don’t have a backup, explore the benefits of the encrypted data and see if getting help from an expert or paying a ransom is the best course of action. 

The Final Word

Like previous health outbreaks, the pandemic has affected countless businesses and millions of individuals worldwide. While the full extent of the long-term impact remains uncertain, one thing is clear for cyber security professionals—it requires increased vigilance. Adherence to guidelines is paramount to ensuring that cyber security policies are updated and strictly enforced. 

Cybercriminals can increase the intensity of their attacks as employees adjust to remote systems and individuals prioritize health concerns. Considering the likelihood of such outbreaks and problems in the future, proactive cyber security is emerging as an obligatory business requirement. 

The fight against ransomware and phishing continues, and cybercriminals are not giving up. But with proactive security, strong awareness and commitment to cyber security, you can take the fight to them with Microsys solutions.

Get in touch with us today!

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