Managed Services Provider Seattle: We Can Protect Your Systems from RansomwareRansomware is a type of malware, such as a Trojan, that cyber criminals use to target an individual's data. Once they get their hands on this data, cyber-attackers either threaten to publish it for all to view or block access to it through cryptovirology. They encrypt the files and make decryption impossible for the layman, rendering the data inaccessible. Cyber-attackers then demand a ransom to reinstate access to the data/system.

Some widely-known examples of ransomware attacks that wreaked havoc on organizations in the past include WannaCry, CryptoWall, and CryptoLocker. In 2019, 62.4% of businesses fell victim to this social engineering attack.

This is where IT support from a Managed Services Provider Seattle can help your organization. From providing IT consulting and implementing robust cybersecurity measures to providing round-the-clock network monitoring, a managed services provider (MSP) can effectively mitigate ransomware attacks and secure your data.

Let's take a look at how MSPs can prepare your Seattle business to counter ransomware attacks.

Ways Managed IT Services in SeattleCan Help Your Business Prevent Ransomware Attacks

1. Installing Advanced Anti-virus

A Managed Services Provider Seattle uses sophisticated anti-malware software to identify, detect, and prevent ransomware from gaining entry into the various systems in your business's network. It analyzes computer programs within your network against known types of ransomware. If a program strikes any similarity with the characteristics of ransomware, the anti-virus will immediately remove/isolate it from the network.

2. Incorporating Domain Name System (DNS) Filtering

MSPs leverage DNS filtering to keep malicious software away from your business's network. A Managed Services Provider Seattle makes use of a DNS resolver to block suspicious websites and filter out potentially harmful content. Simply put, it prevents your employees from becoming victims of a ransomware attack by controlling access to malicious websites through your business's network. Here's how DNS filtering works:

  • Once your employee clicks on a website, his/her system or device will send a DNS query to the DNS resolver
  • The DNS resolver will make use of DNS filtering to analyze the domain name of the website against a predefined list of websites blacklisted by your company
  • If the employee clicks on a blacklisted website, the DNS resolver will not let it load, thereby successfully preventing a potential ransomware attack

3. Harnessing Email Security Gateway

Your Managed Services Provider Seattle can thwart ransomware attacks arising from phishing emails by using an email security gateway. This software searches all incoming emails for malicious attachments, content as well as links. If the emails contain the commonly identified malicious patterns, such as poor formatting, spelling errors, suspicious domain name, and specific keywords, used by cyber-attackers, the email security gateway instantly blocks the email or marks it as spam.

4. Applying Updates and Patches

A Managed Services Provider Seattle knows that it is imperative to regularly update all the software and systems within your business network. Updates come with patches that fix system vulnerabilities such as misconfigured operating systems prevailing within your network. This, in turn, prevents cyber-attackers from exploiting these vulnerabilities and initiating a ransomware attack.

5. Providing Comprehensive Employee Cybersecurity Training

By conducting security training for employees, a Managed Services Provider Seattle teaches them to identify and counter potential ransomware attacks. To offer optimal IT support, MSPs cover the following areas in the training:

  • Identifying the signs of a suspicious email, such as poorly-written and grammatically-incorrect content, unnecessary sense of urgency in the subject line/content, asking for financial details, and more
  • Ensuring robust password management
  • Practicing safe browsing habits such as understanding the difference between HTTP and HTTPS as well as identifying spoofed domains
  • Highlighting potential risks, such as identity theft arising from sharing Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on social media
  • Being vigilant and proactive in identifying suspicious/negligent behavior of employees
  • Reporting to the concerned authority immediately in case their system is compromised

6. Enforcing Consistent Data Back-Up

As mentioned, ransomware attacks prevent you from accessing your critical data unless you pay a ransom for it. To counter this issue, an Managed Services Provider Seattle can help you maintain secure data back-up.

As a practice, a Managed Services Provider Seattle stores sensitive business data in a restorable off-site server. They also provide redundant cloud back-up for all your important data. As a result, you can easily retrieve it even if your network gets infected by ransomware,in turn, minimizing risks such as financial loss and downtime associated with such attacks. Availing of timely IT consulting from your MSP in this regard can be tremendously helpful.

7. Applying Role-Based Access Control (RBAC)

A Managed Services Provider Seattle leverages RBAC tools to mitigate ransomware attacks. RBAC works on the principle of least privilege. It ensures that your employees get access to only the data and resources that are necessary for them to perform their job. So, even if your employee’s system gets infected with ransomware, the attackers won't be able to access and lock all your critical business data,and their attempt to bring your entire network to a standstill will fail.

Further, since unauthorized access to critical information is prevented, the data related to your customers and third parties will remain safe from potential breaches. This limited access can also guarantee better compliance adherence by your business. In fact, your Managed Services Provider Seattle can help you stay updated with state-specific compliance regulations. For instance, businesses in Seattle can leverage managed IT services in Seattle to stay compliant with their local regulatory laws.

8. Incorporating Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Your Managed Services Provider Seattle can add a second layer of cybersecurity defense to your business’s network in the form of MFA. With this tool at work, your employees will need to provide additional credentials, apart from their user ID and password, to verify their authenticity when logging into their system or accessing secured data.

These credentials can include a one-time password sent on the employee’s smartphone, answer to a security question, or biometrics recognition such as iris and fingerprint scan. Hence, even if the credentials of your employees are stolen, your business’s network will remain safe from ransomware attacks since cyber-attackers won’t have access to these extra credentials.

9. Implementing Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Policy

The growing BYOD trend has increased risks associated with data theft and malware infiltration. As a preventive measure, your Managed Services Provider Seattle can design a robust BYOD policy for your business. Once this policy is in place, your employees will become familiar with its stipulations. Some of them include:

  • Using Virtual Private Network (VPN) when working remotely
  • Refraining from using public Wi-Fi at any cost
  • Avoiding the download of applications and software from unauthorized websites

Wrap Up

From huge financial losses to lost reputation and credibility, ransomware attacks can have a long-lasting impact on businesses. A reliable Managed Services Provider Seattle can help your organization combat ransomware attacks through regular data back-up, 24/7 threat monitoring, applying RBAC, and more. A best-in-class Managed Services Provider Seattle will also empower your employees to safeguard their systems from ransomware with proper cybersecurity training. All in all, managed IT services can help you protect your business from ransomware attacks, thereby improving the reputation and efficiency of your organization.

Contact Us Today to Schedule a Free Consultation