Ransomware 101

ran·som·ware

/ˈransəmˌwer/

noun

  1. a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Most ransomware versions encrypt the files on the affected computer, making them inaccessible, and demand a ransom payment to restore access.

Breaking it Down

Ransomware has become a lucrative industry for criminals and it’s on the rise. Due to the increasing threat, law enforcement has teamed up with international agencies to help identify and bring down these nefarious scam operators.

Most ransomware attacks that have taken place have been linked to poor protection practices by employees.

Dos and Don’ts

  • Do Not pay the ransom. It only encourages and funds these attackers. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee you will be able to regain access to your files.
  • Do Not provide personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message or instant message. Phishers will try to trick employees into installing malware, or gain intelligence for attacks by claiming to be from IT. Be sure to contact your IT department if you or your coworkers receive suspicious calls.
  • Do restore any impacted files from a known good backup. Restoration of your files from a backup is the fastest way to regain access to your data.
  • Do use reputable antivirus software and a firewall. Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date are critical. It’s important to use antivirus software from a reputable company because of all the fake software out there.
  • Do employ content scanning and filtering on your mail servers. Inbound e-mails should be scanned for known threats and should block any attachment types that could pose a threat.
  • Do make sure that all systems and software are up-to-date with relevant patches. Exploit kits hosted on compromised websites are commonly used to spread malware. Regular patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent infection.

Ransomware criminals often attack small and medium sized businesses. Among other cyber attacks, ransomware is one criminal activity that can be easily worked around with the above-mentioned solutions.

Takeaway

Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up-to-date are critical. As always, we are here to help. If you need help with ransomeware prevention, we can help. Give us a call or reach out via our contact form today! (256) 513-8206

Have a question? Fill out the form.


* Required Field












%d bloggers like this: