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14th March 2017Why We Should Worry About Ransomware and How We Can Prevent an Attack

Why We Should Worry About Ransomware and How We Can Prevent an Attack

The one thing you should remember about cyber-security is that there’s always a new threat that you need to guard against. Some new malicious file or virus; or a piece of malware that’s evolved from a former incarnation ready to wreak chaos and costly mayhem to your system.

Now, that’s not to put the frighteners on you; merely a reality of the world in which operate. And more than enough reason for us all to stay on-guard, and to maintain a vigilance against the latest ‘nasties’.

And they don’t come much nastier than Ransomware.

A threat that you ignore at your peril.

Why we need to care about Ransomware

Otherwise known as Cyber-Kidnap, or Crypto-Locker, Ransomware is a particularly unpleasant threat to our IT networks and data.

Ransomware is an online extortion tactic; designed to specifically hold your company to ransom by kidnapping your essential data.

 

It works by gaining access to your system – typically by inadvertently opening an infected link or file, often embedded into a spear-phishing / scam email. Once in the system it can encrypt all the data contained within, totally locking down everything on the system until you pay a ransom (hence the name) to get everything decrypted. 

Oh, and don’t think that this is a threat that’s exclusive to Windows users. Unlike other, older, threats, Ransomware is an issue for businesses using Linux, Android, and Mac OS, as well.

Costly. Devastating

These are the words that best sums up the threat that ransomware poses.

For those who have been on the receiving end of an attack have suffered the ignominy of high costs both to the finances and to their reputation and trust among clients.

Attacks in the past 18 months, for example, on various healthcare organisations in the US, cost an average of $17,000 in ransom to regain access to the critical data on its system. However, it’s the hidden costs to the disruption and inaccessibility of data that can really harm a business.

An attack such as this would likely mean inability to carry out normal service to many businesses. How costly would that kind of disruption to service be to you?

And if the data you’ve lost or been locked out of is sensitive, and pertaining to information on your clients, then you risk damage to your reputation, as well as potential legal issues for lack of due diligence (especially if you’re in an industry bound by compliance regulations).

That is why we need to care about Ransomware, and the threat it poses to our businesses and livelihoods.

So, what can we do?

Well, as is true of all cyber-security issues, prevention and detection is considerably better than cure. In fact, if you do get hit by the malware, cure is unlikely, with even the cyber-security specialists at the FBI conceding that the only true resolution might actually be just to pay the ransom.

Which is why we suggest that the very best method of protection is to be proactive; working with your IT consultants (we can help) to ensure that your system’s security measures are up-to-date, flexible to changing threats, and as robust as they need to be to stop such malicious files penetrating your system.

Here are three ways to protect against the Ransomware threat:

 

If you require any further information or if your business has been held hostage by Ransomware, please get in touch.








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