By now you’ve probably heard about the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled organizations including FedEx and Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) earlier this year. While federal, state, and local government agencies remained relatively untouched by WannaCry, ransomware attacks are constantly morphing so organizations must remain vigilant.

According to data security firm, Sentinel One, nearly half of all organizations have been targeted by a ransomware attack in the last year. This staggering statistic is supported by data from the U.S. federal government that documents a 400 percent increase in ransomware attacks between 2015 and 2016. In other words, it’s just a matter of time before cyber criminals identify what your organization’s security vulnerability is and exploit it.

One of the areas that is often overlooked by information security teams is cloud-based productivity suites like Office 365. These are one of the most significant access points for a ransomware attack because by compromising just one email account the ransomware can spread quickly throughout an entire organization.  Moreover, if the files are stored in SharePoint Online or OneDrive for Business the infected files will overwrite those files immediately on the next sync cycle, impacting other users who share those files.

While the consequences for organizations infected by ransomware have been particularly harsh in terms of lost productivity, lost revenue, and loss of reputation, the perpetrators of these attacks don’t have the upper hand.  With some strategic planning focused on data protection and backup, your organization can thwart the attackers and mitigate the negative effects of a ransomware attack.

Here are four strategies to get you started on a ransomware mitigation plan:

  1. Educate users about how to spot phishing emails, fake links, and other common points of entry for malware.
  2. Perform backups regularly. Backing up data needs to happen frequently, not just when the IT team remembers. Make sure frequent granular backups are part of your team’s business continuity plans.
  3. Ensure that data can be restored from backups. Having granular backups will ensure that only affected files need to be restored, which will restore normal operations far more quickly.
  4. Stay current with patches and updates. Integrating patches and other critical updates into an operations plan will help ensure you’re on the fast track to recovery.


Are you ready to start guarding your data today? Download the eBook or click here to learn how to take control of your cloud-based data.