Ransomware becomes a common tool used by criminals to attack businesses, encrypt their data, and demand money for decryption. An infamous ransomware attack on Travelex shows that hackers can target companies of all sizes.
Attacking data, stored in the G Suite cloud, is also common. The reason is simple. Corporate G Suite environments contain extremely valuable information. Likely, a targeted company will pay up to get seized documents, contacts, and messages back.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the enterprise-level ransomware protection for data stored in G Suite.
How Does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts digital data to make it unreadable for the owner. To restore access to encrypted data, hackers demand a hefty sum. However, even paying up doesn’t guarantee that all data is restored to its original form.
You can get a ransomware infection in several ways:
- Granting a malicious SaaS app with access to your system-critical data
- Installing a ransomware-infected Chrome extension
- Clicking an infected link in a phishing email
- Downloading a corrupted attachment
- Using corrupted USB devices
G Suite services like Gmail and Google Drive can be damaged with ransomware. Here’s a demonstration of a ransomware attack on Gmail:
Cybercriminals can use a variety of intimidation tactics and social engineering methods to force the victim to pay. For example, hackers can threaten to sell seized sensitive information on the dark web unless the ransomware is paid within several days.
An ability to move through an attacked network makes ransomware even more dangerous. In other words, even if one G Suite account is compromised, others can become damaged as well. Such ransomware strains as Ryuk and Sodinokibi (also known as REvil) are especially dangerous, as they can spread through the whole corporate network.
Why Is Ransomware Protection Important for Businesses?
The common ransomware examples prove that ransomware damage is significant, and recovery may take days or even weeks. Hackers can target companies of all sizes and even local governments. Ransomware harm scales with the size of a victim, and big companies face multi-million damages in case of an attack.
Sometimes, hackers demand enormous sums for decryption. And there is a clear uptrend. According to the analysis of 450,000 ransomware attacks in 2019, ransom demand costs could exceed $1.4 billion in the U.S. in 2020. Globally, the damages can range from $6 billion to $25 billion.
Apart from ransom, companies face other expenses in case of an attack. Downtime costs, negative PR, and compliance violation fines are just a few examples of potential consequences of a ransomware attack. Summing everything up, the average ransomware recovery sum reaches $84,116 and continues to grow. That’s why ransomware protection should be a high priority for any company.
The Top Ransomware Protection Tips
Ransomware protection requires a complex, multi-layered approach. Some of the best tips of ransomware protection are:
- Plan and arrange security awareness training for employees. Every G Suite user should understand the cybersecurity basics. For example, how to spot a phishing email.
- Updating your corporate incident response place with specific actions to take in case of a ransomware attack.
- Introduce device security policies.
- Implement application whitelisting to prevent harmful apps from infecting your system with ransomware.
- Use cybersecurity software to protect your G Suite environment against ransomware attacks.
The bigger the company, the more devastative ransomware attacks can be. All G Suite users should understand this threat and do their best to avoid it. However, human error is inevitable. That’s why your anti-ransomware strategy should rely not only on users but also on system configuration and security software.
Built-in G Suite Ransomware Protection
G Suite anti-spam functionality sends the majority of phishing emails into the Spam folder. Spam filters provide a certain degree of ransomware protection, as malicious software is often spread with emails.
Customization of built-in spam filter settings will make your Gmail even more secure against phishing. However, there is always a chance that a malicious email will bypass filers and get to one of your colleagues.
G Suite provides other configuration options that will help you to boost your security against ransomware attacks. For example, by disabling Google Drive Sync, you can localize ransomware in case it has infected the system.
Additional Cybersecurity Tools to Protect G Suite from Ransomware
To complement native G Suite functionality, you can use additional cybersecurity tools like backups, firewalls, antiviruses, or specialized anti-ransomware tools.
G Suite Backup & Recovery
Having your G Suite data backed up is the best way to restore it in case of a ransomware attack. If any data was encrypted, you don’t have to decrypt them yourself or pay hackers to do it. With a backup, you can get your files restored to their pre-infection state.
However, restoring all damaged data from a backup may take several days. It’s better to detect an attack early to have a minimum number of files encrypted.
Are Antiviruses Enough?
Using antivirus software is a common security practice. However, is antivirus software enough against ransomware? Unfortunately, not always. Usually, AV software detects ransomware by a signature. It means that only known ransomware modifications can be detected. The most recent ransomware may be able to bypass antivirus software and firewalls.
Moreover, antiviruses and firewalls are geared towards ransomware detection, not recovery. That’s why using specialized anti-ransomware software may be a good idea. Let’s take a look at one of such tools.
Spinbackup’s ransomware protection is an all-in-one solution that helps to detect, stop, and recover from a ransomware attack. This tool is subscription-based. The annual subscription costs $5.00 per G Suite user/month.
This cybersecurity solution utilizes AI-powered algorithms to monitor file behavior and detect potential ransomware attacks as fast as possible. After the attack detection, the system identifies its source and blocks it. By revoking access to the sync app, ransomware is prevented from spreading through the system. The whole process is automated and takes only a few minutes.
Once the attack is stopped, the security algorithms identify all damaged files to restore them from a safe backup. Restore of the damaged files only speeds up the recovery process.