Mimecast: Is Encryption a Defense Against Ransomware?

Ransomware appears to be rampant. Organizations all over the world are trying their best to defend against these malicious software attacks that compromise organizational data at a price.

One of these measures is using encryption to defend the company from hackers. Although encryption cannot prevent ransomware, it ensures that the attackers cannot read sensitive data.

By converting critical data into code, encryption prevents an organization from being further exploited by ransomware attackers.

Encrypted Emails

Encryption of all forms should be encouraged, particularly encrypted email.

Sensitive content such as customer information, financial information, and business plans are shared through an organizational email system. Protecting that information from data loss can avoid fines, legal fees, public relations disasters, and loss of revenue.

In the modern-day workplace, email is utilized heavily and is one of the first methods used to gain access to unauthorized information. Therefore, setting up encrypted emails may seem like a simple measure but it is needed if an organization wants to build a secure system.

Thinking Beyond Encryption

Information security goes beyond encryption. Protecting an organization against ransomware requires a layered approach. Encryption is a start. However, there are other pathways that must be explored to create a safe and secure environment.

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Exploring Solutions

First, there are some simple, required steps that any organization should take to guard themselves against ransomware exploits:

  • Installing anti-virus software and firewalls
  • Conducting security awareness training for employees
  • Maintaining software updates

These steps may seem basic but one missed software update or successful phishing attempt can allow ransomware hackers to gain access to the company’s data.

Beyond the basics, there must be a strategy in place and data security requires an overarching system. There are many effective cyber security systems that halt email-borne ransomware infections before they start and have cloud technology, which restores data instantly to keep an entity running.

With superb cloud technology, critical data can be restored without any infected files. Clean data restoration promotes resiliency, as the organization is not reliant on the hacker if crucial data can easily be regained.

There are a variety of ways to backup organizational data, such as creating an image backup before encryption. This backup is a single file of the operating system and all associated data. Backups must be done frequently either on-site or through the cloud.

By having backups off-site and unconnected to the organizational network, the company is again, not reliant on the hacker for critical files and does not have to pay the ransom.

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