What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of illegal malicious software (or malware). Once it’s taken over your computer and network it locks your files, making them inaccessible. It’s often described as data kidnapping. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim, promising to restore access to the data upon payment. Users are shown instructions on how to pay a fee or ransom to get the decryption key which unlocks the files.
How is it spread?
Ransomware is often spread through fake emails disguised to look as though they’ve been sent from a trusted source. These emails are known as ‘Phishing’ emails and generally try to direct the user opening a link in an email or by opening up an infected document, which then, in turn, installs the ransomware on your computer. Once you’ve been infected by it, the malware will start searching for important files on your computer’s hard-drive, file shares and or even in your cloud storage. Ransomware can also be spread manually by remotely accessing insecure computers and servers and deploying the software.
How can I protect against Ransomware?
The best protection against ransomware is to be proactive in your business cybersecurity. We recommend that you use multiple layers of protection.
- Ensure that all security software is fully up to date. New types of malware attacks appear regularly, that’s why it’s really important to keep your security systems 100% current. We can manage this for you, leaving you free to focus on your core business.
- Back up, back up and then back up again. OK, you get the idea, backing up important data is the most effective defence against attacks. Cyber criminals will have much less leverage to exploit a victim if they have a backup to restore once the threat has passed. There are plenty of options to choose from including automated systems and cloud back up. We can help you decide what the best fit for your business is.
- Champion cybersecurity. Lack of staff awareness is the biggest cause of successful cyber attacks amongst SMBs. It’s easy to get caught out by a fake email, they’re specifically designed to fool us into clicking or downloading malicious software. If your team knows what to look for and are educated on the dangers this is one of the best lines of defence your business can have. Our user awareness training courses are designed to lower the risks by working with your team to help them understand cybersecurity best practice.