Are you a business owner? Have you been faced with a situation where a computer in your possession was compromised by ransomware and the only solution is to pay a ‘ransom’ to get your data back? Ransomware is becoming an increasingly common threat for businesses, especially smaller businesses, who tend not to have the means or know-how to protect themselves against a cyber-attack.
Ransomware compromises a device and encrypts data so that it can’t be accessed without the encryption key. The hacker will then demand payment, typically via Bitcoin, in exchange for the key needed to unlock the system. This is easy because Bitcoin transactions are hard to trace and rely on complex cryptography that’s tough to crack. In addition, there’s a wide range of ransomware variants in circulation, from the lowly screen locker to the more ambitious crypto-ransomware which encrypts files and locks out Windows altogether. This makes it difficult for any victim to know what they’re up against before it’s too late.
Many small businesses do not have a tech savvy employee who can do a ransomware test. The best thing to do is have a plan in case something were to happen.
One good way of doing this is by backing up data regularly. This means that if the worst comes to the worst, it’s possible to wipe the affected system and restore everything from the latest version. It would be time-consuming, but less costly than having to pay a ransom. Some ransomware will also only encrypt certain files, leaving the rest alone – these variants are often content with locking users out of their data rather than actually deleting or encrypting it.
Ransomware is a form of malware that infects computers and holds them hostage by encrypting their files. This means the person can delete or modify data, but it will be useless since they don’t have access to the encryption key. The attackers then demand payment in exchange for the decryption key. Businesses are at risk too because employees may open the attachment to an email asking for assistance. The infected computer will then encrypt files on other networked computers in addition to locking out all users.
A two factor authentication helps protect your important information by making sure that someone is authorized to access accounts before getting in, even if they have stolen credentials or hacked their way in through social engineering.
People should ensure all their software is updated and run antivirus. If ransomware does happen to infect the computer, there are ways to decrypt files without paying for them. Users must avoid opening phishing emails or visiting insecure websites that might lead to an infection.
Businesses are just as vulnerable as individual users since people often need to use email for work purposes. By being aware of what is safe and what isn’t, companies have a better chance of preventing ransomware from infecting their networks. The best defense is a layered approach which starts by having a robust backup . So if the computer gets encrypted, system admins can go back to the backups and restore files.
Custom software can be used to detect ransomware, as well as prevent it from encrypting files on disks.
Ransomware has always been a problem. Being aware of the risk and how it operates is the best way to keep data secure. This means having updated software, avoiding suspicious emails, and keeping backups so if something does happen, they can restore information and keep business running.
The most effective way to defend against ransomware is awareness, make sure all software is updated and run antivirus. If it does happen, there are ways to decrypt files without paying for them but avoiding opening phishing emails or visiting insecure websites that might lead to an infection. Instituting a layered approach which starts by having a robust backup helps keep companies safe. Contact Bayshore Interactive today to protect your business from potential ransomware attacks.