80% of Ransomware Attacks Stem From These Common Pitfalls

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A recent warning from Microsoft identified that 80% of all ransomware incidents stem from a few common cybersecurity mistakes. The good news? Most attacks are avoidable with the knowledge and prevention to avoid these common mistakes. 

Since your ears are burning, let’s dig in. 

These are the top cybersecurity mistakes that lead to ransomware attacks: 

  1. Not using multi-factor authentication (MFA). Organizations that are behind the ball on fundamental cybersecurity measures such as MFA are low-hanging fruit to cyber criminals. If you haven’t implemented MFA, talk to your IT people ASAP.

    If you have cybersecurity insurance, review your last questionnaire to see how it was answered and if you’re following the minimum required practices. Here’s an example where coverage was nullified for answering yes to everything when it was really a no.
  2. Missing, disabled, or misconfigured security products. Nearly all of the observed ransomware incidents involved a lack of properly installed, configured, and monitored security solutions. We frequently see this with prospective clients — missing anti-virus or low-grade solutions in place. Check out our blog 5 Corners Your IT Guy is Probably Cutting.
  3. Misconfigured applications and Shadow IT. Popular solutions that integrate with sensitive applications like Microsoft 365 have led to successful attacks thanks to default settings that are insecure. In addition, some employees tend to install unauthorized applications and click “allow” on prompts without considering the security risks and impact to the organization. Read more about Shadow IT.
  4. Organizations are slow to apply security updates. Microsoft observed that old vulnerabilities are a primary driver in attacks. These targeted organizations are not reliably applying security updates, reviewing for missing updates, and not running any vulnerability scans that would detect known vulnerabilities in the environment. Check out our related blog unmanaged vs. managed updates

These mistakes are not simply additional vulnerabilities for your organization. They operate as a target on your back. Cybercriminals specifically scan organizations with these vulnerabilities, making them a target over organizations without them.
Working with a qualified IT security team is as much about set-up and configurations as about prevention and maintenance. At PK Tech, we take a full-picture approach with our clients, analyzing your existing IT infrastructure and understanding the gaps to produce  a more robust and preventative cybersecurity strategy. Book a 15-minute call with a team member to discuss how PK Tech can support the IT security of your organization.