Emirates NBD UAE fraud
Emirates NBD is constantly monitoring the security of its consumers' finances online Image Credit: Shutterstock

Digitisation of banking has opened new avenues for customers and businesses to conduct financial transactions with ease and speed. While this delivers the benefits of convenience and safety- customers and businesses are also exposed to cybercrime and banking frauds, often resulting in financial losses.

One such cybercrime involving malicious software is ransomware. A ransomware attack occurs when hackers gain control of IT systems or data and then demand payment to unlock them. Here are some ways businesses can reduce the risk of a ransomware attack:

A ransomware attack occurs when hackers gain control of IT systems or data and then demand payment to unlock them.

- Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD

Go beyond traditional backup: Backing up data is the single most effective way of recovering from a ransomware infection. Your backup should be appropriately protected and stored offline or out-of-band, so they can’t be targeted by attackers.

Train users to detect social engineering attacks: User training greatly reduces the risk of infection. A ransomware attack usually starts with a malicious email or malicious download. Users can be trained to identify phishing, and social engineering messages. It is a known strategy employed by MNCs as trained users are less likely to open an infected attachment.

Use a ‘defense in depth’ practice: Implement security on all the layers such as for your network use segmentation, firewall, IDS/IPS etc. Operating systems and applications should be always kept up to date with the latest patches as most attacks exploit known vulnerabilities. Deploy two different antiviruses/antimalware solutions for servers and endpoint and keep them updated. Furthermore, regularly conduct penetration testing for your IT environment and deploy principle of least privileges for any user access including that for your IT administrators.

Conduct ransomware simulation: This will help you identify the organisations readiness to respond to a crisis. The test should include at least the following: containment expertise, escalation procedures, and communication skills. Remember it always helps to be prepared.

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