by Joanna Crossley | | Blog

In today’s age, if you aren’t protecting your business against ransomware, you’re risking millions. “Cybercrime to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.”

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that infects computers and mobile devices that is utilised by hackers to take something of yours and demand payment for its return. Most often if payment is not received your data will be destroyed forever. The use of ransomware is increasing globally and is now considered the go-to attack method for cybercriminals.

 

How can your business be infected by Ransomware?

Once your business falls victim to Ransomware, it can encrypt all forms of files, from documents to pictures. As well as encrypting your businesses data, locking you out of your operating system and spreading to other PC’s on your network. The real damage lies in the fact that the systems you need to run your business are taken offline because the drives are encrypted. Ransomware stops you being able to conduct business.

Some of the ways cybercriminals can gain access to your network are through:

Phishing or malicious emails: emails impersonating legitimate organisations in the attempt to get you to open an attachment or click on a link/picture that may install malware on your device.

Infected websites & downloads: cybercriminals will often create infected links, websites and downloads which can be linked to phishing emails or used on their own to attack a company’s network.

Fake / unprotected apps: Malware is used to infect apps with the goal of getting inside your smartphone.

 

Malicious ads: ‘Malvertising’ is a relatively new form of cyber tactic that is used by cybercriminals to distribute malware through online advertising. A common strategy employed by hackers if to submit malicious ads to a third-party online ad-vendor. Once approved by the ad-vendor the seemingly innocent ad will be deployed all over the internet, waiting to be click by unsuspecting users.

Ransomware doesn’t just affect big businesses, an increasing number of cybercriminals are now focusing on small to medium businesses with a typical demand between £3000 to £6000. The smaller ransom is chosen as it’s thought to be easier to just pay a smaller amount rather than involving authorities and risking public knowledge.  

How can you get your data back?

 

 

Cybercriminals will usually request a ‘Ransom’ be paid using cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, which makes catching the perpetrators difficult, if not impossible. If you are unable to pay or decide not to do so, you risk losing any data that you did not previously backup. However, even if you decide to pay the ransom there is no guarantee that you will get your data back.

Defeating Ransomware

Defeating ransomware is about prevention, combatting the channels that hackers use to infect your business and stopping them before they enter your network.

Your business can defeat ransomware by:

Installing Antivirus

  • There are many antivirus options for business, however, none of them can guarantee 100% safety. This is because antivirus can only detect known threats, any malware that has not previously been “seen” will still be able to infiltrate your network. This is why most businesses will implement multi-layered approaches to cyber security. The most effective form of multi-layered cyber defence for business is the implementation of both threat detection & Threat Removal defences.

Back up your data daily

  • Work with your IT team to ensure data is backed up regularly, daily is recommended.

Educate your employees on phishing emails.

  • Ransomware preys upon human weakness, email is a weak point for many businesses where hackers employ numerous tricks to get employees to inadvertently download malicious content. Human error is the leading cause for ransomware attacks, don’t leave your business to chance by relying on your team to be 100% secure.
  • Not clicking suspicious links or ads

Employ Threat Removal

  • Stop incoming threats before they enter your network using Threat Removal.
  • Threat Removal works by using a transformation approach to ensure all files are threat free before entering your system.
  • Find out more about the benefits of Threat Removal.

 

Don’t Let Ransomware Devastate Your Business

Whatever the size of your business it’s vital to protect your business against ransomware attacks. This is a one situation where prevention is better than cure.

 

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