Using Office Automation Systems to Combat Ransomware

Office automation systems are more imperative to security than ever, because what works for security today may not work for security tomorrow, and automation is one of the foremost yet untapped ways of combatting this phenomenon, especially for small businesses.

This means there’s an opportunity for competitive IT cost savings, whatever industry your business belongs to. But the reasons for this will become more apparent in the later stages of this article.

Although it may be difficult for control freaks, moving to the cloud and entrusting third-party cloud office automation vendors to provide security will save time, bandwidth, and money, especially when compounded over long periods of time.

After all, why pay extra money for an in-house IT person when you can pay a smaller fee for a vendor’s software solution that upholds and automates many of the same responsibilities as IT personnel?

Although the answer to this question is shorter than the question itself, let’s begin exploring how office automation systems can combat ransomware—today’s most virulent and threatening form of data breach.

Why You Should Use Office Automation Systems to Combat Ransomware

This is a tougher pill to swallow, so brace yourself.

You’re still on your own when it comes to protecting your data and your business; the government has bigger problems to tend to, especially since consumers and businesses are given a litany of information to protect themselves from ransomware attacks, and should take the preventative measures necessary to do so.

No matter how much the incidence of ransomware attacks rises, the government and investigatory agencies like the FBI will be unable to help. The lesson being that you must do everything you can to educate yourself and protect your business, because nobody else will do it for you free of charge.

A Paradigm Shift in Hacker Interests

Ransomware is such a profitable hacking technique that cyber hackers are abandoning the old credit card and bank account threats in droves and flocking to this form of information breach.

After all, knowledge is power, and ransomware is one of the most scary and effective hacking methodologies of gaining this knowledge.

Ransomware takes an already heinous crime and makes it simpler than ever for criminals to execute, but only for companies that don’t take security seriously.

The paradigm shift from traditional methods of cyber-attacking toward sophisticated modes of malware has signified a shift in global business security, and this dynamic will only increase in complexity.

The Nature of Ransomware

Regular, recurring 24-hour data backup is just one component of how office automation systems combat ransomware attacks, but to give readers a better idea of what ransomware looks like, envision the following scenario:

  • Your files are sitting on your desktop, Mac, or mobile phone without a backup in any system
  • A message pops up on your screen that says “The files on this computer have been encrypted. You have x number of hours to submit a payment of x amount, or your files will be permanently deleted.
  • Remember, you may not get your files back even if you pay up.

This is a relatively simple message with a clear objective, and the way ransomware hackers get to the point where they can press the computer owner isn’t much more complex.

Ransomware attackers scour any backup system they can find on a network or set of computers to encrypt and lock information by gaining manual entry through a backdoor network to gain access to a variety of different servers.

A Recent Example of a Ransomware Attack

A Windows XP ransomware attack tore through the world last month. Spread by a worm virus and ultimately saved by a kill-switch domain, the event affected over 75,000 computers in 99 countries, including several Europe-based hospitals.

Like many culprits of ransom ware, the variety of these victims were using network shares to manage files. That’s why shared drives and network shares don’t compare to office automation systems in combating ransom ware. The security just isn’t sophisticated enough.

Why You Need More than a Kill Switch Domain

It took some of the smartest code breakers in the world to shut off this global ransomware attack, and even after doing it, these codebreakers still remain uninformed of why the kill switch domain reacted the way it did.

After finding the kill switch in the code of the ransomware program, they knew it would prevent more infections from occurring, but it still remains very unclear whether registering that domain will stop the issue at its source, and whether this serves as a template for handling future ransomware attacks.

Who Do Ransomware Culprits Target?

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy and comprise the vast majority of all businesses registered in the United States. Nearly half of cyber-attacks occur in businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

The lesson here being that the ransomware hackers aren’t smart enough to outsmart the largest companies, but they’d bet on their hacking expertise over a small business’s security any day of the week.

However, that’s not the only reason they’re the most common ransomware targets.

Ransomware hackers target small businesses because they are the least equipped to handle hacks, data breaches, and security threats.

Preventative Measures Are the Only Safe Route

There are no band-aids in the cyber-security world. Once the damage the breach has happened, its defects are incorrigible. Unfortunately, recovering from a ransomware attack is far more difficult than preventing it.

Although a cloud back up will do in circumventing ransomware, it will not do the cost of evading ransomware justice. If you’re going to back up your files to the cloud, relying on one of the office automation systems that use cloud storage as a mere part of their product suite will prove most useful for SMBs.

Why Zonal OCR Software is Needed: A Crucial Component of Office Automation Systems

It helps you establish document throughput to bypass ransomware. If you immediately eliminate the watch folder and have the file uploaded to the office automation systems in the cloud, it’ll be downright impossible to get stuck.

Why Risk Management Will Change in the Next Decade

Unless small businesses take it upon themselves to secure their businesses for the better against ransomware, ransomware techniques will continue to proliferate, and become more advanced and difficult-to-combat in the process.

Robert M. Lee, an executive at Dragos Security, notes that left unabated, ransomware could eventually affect systems not bound by computers. For instance, systems used to spread electricity or derive functional mechanisms from water could eventually become susceptible to ransomware attacks.

By | 2017-06-15T15:07:31+00:00 June 15th, 2017|
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