It’s clear from the steadily increasing number of victims to ransomware (a $1 billion industry as of last year) that it’s dangerous for businesses of all industries and sizes. No one is immune from the risk of a ransomware attack – which is when your company’s computers are locked up and won’t be restored unless a requested lump sum is paid.
Even by paying the ransom, there’s no guarantee the data won’t be used illicitly, as 1 in 5 businesses that do pay ransoms never get their files back. The implications of these transactions are not only risky, but they also have the potential to disrupt operations and damage your reputation as a secure and trustworthy business. What actions can you take to protect yourself, and minimize the risks of being the victim of an attack?
Why, get document management of course!
Securing Data and Important Information
Unfortunately, ransomware attackers are constantly finding new ways to hack and breach companies – the most common infections of 2017’s first quarter being remote desktop protocol, or RDP. This circumvents the end user all together and instead finds open ports online to force its way in through weak passwords.
While phishing and emails are still something to remain wary of, educating end users about all the possible ways to be breached is important to preventing ransomware from infecting a workplace computer and keeping sensitive information secure.
Now you may be wondering how document management fits into this picture. Document management digitizes and secures important files such as invoices and employee onboarding information. How? Once it’s entered, the system protects the information with stringent security and encryption guidelines for the transfer of electronic data.
Another pro of document management is that software nowadays is remotely managed and can be updated through the cloud – without the aches and pains of upgrading an on-premise legacy system to keep up the pace. So if there’s an attack, your vendor can implement safeguards and protections to increase your resiliency in real-time.
Reducing Human Error
Human error is, unfortunately, a culprit to how breaches happen. Whether accidental or malicious, one wrong click in an email attachment inevitably carries risk for leaked information, like if someone leaves a laptop in a car with valuable healthcare files and it is stolen, for example.
With the proper permission-based controls that come with using document management, you can ensure employees only see what they’re authorized to see. Meaning if Jane left a laptop in the car, if someone were to steal it and try hacking the system, the thief would need to know her password AND a way to get someone who has administrator access before making a full breach.
The key is making it harder for attackers to do their job – if it’s a hassle for them to lock files on your desktop, chances are, the attackers will move on to a more vulnerable target (since unfortunately, there are far too many to choose from).
Here are some ways you can mitigate human error and ransomware:
- Have all your files stored in document management software, and not on computer hard drives
- Make sure your employees have unique passwords that are case-sensitive; meaning, using capitals and symbols such as @ and #
- Educate employees about how to beware of email phishing, and that they shouldn’t send attachments over anything except encrypted email that requires a password to view (consider Chrome extensions such as
- Encourage workers to report anything that looks “fishy” or “suspicious” in email or on their computers in general
Preventing Ransomware – Today and Beyond
Staying vigilant remains top-of-mind for executives around the world – but still, attacks are happening in higher frequency.
Doing everything possible against ransomware, including using document management software, can protect your business’s sensitive information, and place a barrier between locking your computer and being vulnerable to these criminals. That’s because document management isn’t dependent on a specific device to run – it runs across laptops, desktop computers, tablets, and even mobile phones.
If you’d like to see how document management secures and encrypts your information, feel free to check out our document management buyer’s guide video.