Ransomware is a common type of malicious software that perpetually blocks a user from accessing his/her data and/or threatens to publish the victim’s data unless a ransom is paid.
As highlighted above, the motive for ransomware attacks is nearly always monetary, and unlike other types of cyber-attacks, the victim is often notified that an exploit has occurred on his/her system and is given instructions for how to recover from the attack. After the attack, the Payment(Ransom) is often demanded in a virtual currency, such as bitcoin or Ukash, so that the cyber criminal’s identity isn’t easily known.
While some simple ransomware may lock the system in a way which is not very difficult for an expert to reverse, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion, in which it encrypts the victim’s files, making them inaccessible, and demands a ransom payment to decrypt them.
For a business, ransomware can cripple productivity. It halts all projects until access to important files is regained and the system is secured. If your computers have been infected by ransomware, all sensitive information is at risk of falling into the wrong hands and being erased from your devices.
As a business, getting caught up in ransomware is a dangerous game – the company ends up in a very compromising situation. Sensitive information is at risk, but paying hackers doesn’t guarantee the information wasn’t already copied. Therefore, paying the ransom also doesn’t guarantee the safe return of all files.
Because Ransomware can have serious implications, we’ve compiled tips to help reduce the chances of being affected and to minimize the damage if it happens:
- Don’t store important data only on your PC.
- Have Two (2) backups of your data: on an external hard drive and in the cloud.
- Ensure your operating system and the software you use is up to date, including the latest security updates.
- Use an ad blocker to avoid the threat of potentially malicious ads.
- Never open spam emails or emails from unknown senders
- Never download attachments from spam emails or suspicious emails
- Never click links in spam emails or suspicious emails
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