Did you know a cyber attack occurs every 39 seconds, resulting in an average 2,224 cyber attacks per day?

Any California business that relies on technology should understand just how critical it is to protect their systems from these threats, especially advanced attacks such as ransomware. Ransomware attacks cost businesses an average of $713,000 per year, a cost that several businesses simply can’t afford. Not protecting your systems against these threats could actually cause your business to go under.

What’s more, in California, data privacy laws have become stricter, and businesses need to pay attention to the correct and lawful way to handle customer data. Otherwise, they could also face non-compliance penalties on top of the already exorbitant cleanup costs.

But even with these alarming statistics facing modern businesses, only 5% of businesses are considered to have adequate cybersecurity protection. If you want to protect your California business from the threat of ransomware attacks, it’s imperative that you invest in the right cybersecurity defenses.

Here’s what you need to know about ransomware and how to protect against it:

About Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of cybersecurity threat that can affect businesses both big and small. As the name suggests, ransomware is designed to exploit businesses by demanding a payout in return for the business regaining access to sensitive data, which is taken hostage by the scammers.

These scams can cost companies huge amounts of money and bad publicity, such as when Uber paid $100,000 to hackers in 2016 to hide a data breach that affected 57 million users of the app, including 600,000 drivers.

One survey showed that within a 12-month period, more than one-fifth of businesses (22%) had to cease operation immediately due to a ransomware attack. When an attack occurs, the FBI’s recommendation is not to pay the ransom. Sadly, even if you don’t lose money to the hackers themselves, your business will still lose out in terms of downtime, lost data, and fines for failing to comply with the law.

Even if you do choose to circumvent the FBI’s warning and pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that it will actually regain access to your data, much less that it hasn’t already been severely compromised. Either way, becoming the victim of a data breach can be greatly damaging to your business both financially and reputationally.

Protecting Your California Business from Ransomware

Fortunately, it is possible to protect your California business from the threat of ransomware. The best thing that any business can do is to build adequate lines of defense by investing in advanced cybersecurity services. Some of these might include continual system monitoring, advanced threat detection, and risk assessments, all of which can be implemented by a reliable Managed Service Provider.

Here are some additional advanced cybersecurity services that can help your business stay protected:

24/7 Monitoring and Maintenance

Rather than take a reactive or break/fix approach to your IT by waiting for problems to arise before they get fixed, take a proactive approach. Outsourced IT professionals can monitor your systems 24/7, meaning that no matter what time of day a weakness is identified in your systems, it can be patched immediately. This prevents incidents from occurring and hackers from exploiting security vulnerabilities.

Layered Security Architecture

A layered architecture involves creating different security levels so that you can better control your data and who accesses it. It makes it possible to give different users different permissions, set up stronger password protections, and develop secure workplace procedures to prevent data breaches. Various levels of control will keep your databases and network secure.

Incident Report Procedures

Reporting an incident as soon as possible is key to having it dealt with swiftly. A well-planned incident report procedure can help you respond immediately to incidents and prevent future ones from occurring. This can also be beneficial for staff to better understand their role in dealing with cyber security incidents and how to securely deal with IT issues when they arise.

Proxy Servers and Anonymizers

California businesses need to be careful whenever they are handling sensitive customer data. The use of proxy servers and anonymizers makes it possible to do this when accessing or transferring data over an open-net connection.

As your California business works to better protect its systems through more comprehensive cybersecurity planning, it can defend against ransomware attacks. The costs associated with successful ransomware attacks are too risky for businesses to neglect their cybersecurity, so don’t wait to get your IT systems secured.