This is now becoming an all too common headline, “Ransomware attacks critical infrastructure” as once again a large ransom request has impacted a critical piece of the United State’s infrastructure. This time a large Iowa farm service provider has fallen victim to a ransomware attack. The attackers have asked for a $5.9 million payout which will increase to $11.8 million if not paid within the attackers requested time frame. The farm service provider has suggested to the cyber attackers that this attack is an attack on critical infrastructure of a nation and is expected to impact the food supply in unknown ways.

Ransomware is here to stay

We have written often about ransomware here at Security Bytes and with good reason. Ransomware is not going away and will almost certainly become even more common. This is because cybercriminals know it works. They also have turned ransomware into a business model and sell their malware as a service, so virtually anyone can now use it.

Minimize your risk

While you can not eliminate all risks, there are steps you can take to help minimize them.

Step 1: Follow the “3,2,1 Rule”

This rule explains that you should have three copies of your data backed up. This should be as two different media formats with one copy stored at an offsite location.

Step 2: Upload Anti-Virus/Malware Solutions to Your Devices

These should be business grade softwares. Upload these softwares to your computers, servers, and mobile devices.

Step 3: Create a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

This should specifically address your business’ ransomware response.

Step 4: Train Yourself and Your Employees 

These training opportunities should specifically address the ransomware response your business will take if it does fall victim.

It is critical that you have a plan in place prior to ever falling victim. Plan and be prepared!

For more information on ransomware and other cyber threats to your small business, check out Small Business, Big Threat!