Ransomware is one of the primary cybersecurity threats facing small and mid-sized businesses and organizations in Illinois. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) describes ransomware as an “ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable.”
Typically, the ransomware hacker will then demand a payment (ransom) from the business owner in order to get their files back. You can take action now to better protect your company from cybersecurity risks. In this article, our Illinois business attorneys provide four tips to help you protect your company from ransomware attacks.
Four Tips to Protect Business Assets from Ransomware Hackers
1. Implement a Comprehensive Training and Awareness Program
Although many ransomware hackers are quite sophisticated, the way that malware actually gets on computers is often quite straightforward: A business owner, manager, employee, or other party downloads a corrupt file. One of the best (and most cost-effective) steps you can take to protect your business from ransomware is to implement a comprehensive training and awareness program for all employees/managers who have access to computers.
2. Considering Limiting Access to Privileged Accounts
As a business owner, you have the ability to restrict an individual user’s ability to download files onto your network. You may want to consider limiting this ability to certain privileged accounts. Among other things, doing so will help to limit the risk that an unaware user will accidentally download ransomware. Not every employee needs access to privileged accounts.
3. Back-Up Files and Create a Strong Data Recovery Program
Mistakes happen. Even highly experienced computer users sometimes download ransomware. Hackers put a lot of time and effort into disguising their illegal malware. Your business should always be prepared for a cybersecurity attack. If your files are properly backed up and you have a strong data recovery program in place, a ransomware hacker will not be able to do nearly as much damage to your business.
4. Know the Data Breach Notification Laws
Finally, you need to make sure that your company complies with all obligations it has under federal, state, or local law. In recent years, many jurisdictions have enacted new data breach laws to protect consumers. As an example, on January 1st, 2020, the Illinois Personal Information Privacy Act went into effect. The key thing that business owners and managers should know about this law is that it requires covered entities to disclose the breach of a security system (data breach) if more than 500 Illinois residents were impacted by it.
Call Our Chicago, IL Business Lawyers for Immediate Legal Help
At North Suburban Legal Services LLC, our Chicago business protection attorneys are reliable, knowledgeable advocates for business owners and managers. If you have any questions about ransomware hacking, our legal team can help. Contact us today for confidential legal guidance and support. We represent businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the region, including Cook County, Lake County, DuPage County, and Will County.