Ransomware prevention is very important to businesses today. As the fastest-growing form of cyber attack, ransomware has caused devastating financial losses and breaches of privacy for organizations both throughout the country and across the globe—and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malware that is installed on a computer which then encrypts the device, data, or system.
The difference between ransomware and typical malware is that it doesn’t need a direct connection to the computer device that will be affected. It can be encrypted in different files that are then able to take over the computer. It also completely locks users out of the system until a ransom is paid for the encrypted data. The cyber criminal behind the attack can control the computer system and withhold access indefinitely.
Why Businesses Should Beware of Ransomware
In an instance where a company is the victim of such an attack, the business can suffer significant financial losses—either through lost data or paid ransoms, which are often in the range of millions of dollars.
Criminals behind ransomware attacks cost organizations globally an estimated $20 billion in 2020, a nearly 100% increase from 2019’s $11.5 billion in losses. With small businesses bearing the brunt of 43% of cyber attacks, even businesses that think they’re out of notice of cyber criminals need to be on the lookout or face serious consequences.
How a Ransomware Attack Progresses
Ransomware typically spreads from one phishing email. It is a form of clickbait which entices the recipient to download an infected file from the email.
When a user downloads the ransomware-infected email, the cyber attackers can gain access to the network. They can prepare in advance and once they have activated the ransomware the intended damage will start and the process of encryption will start.
Anywhere from a few files on an individual’s computer to whole systems on a company network can be attacked and accessed. Once the hacker has managed to encrypt all the files, they will send a notification popup for the victim of the attack demanding an amount of money, usually in cryptocurrency, for the return of access. They sometimes will also include a deadline which can increase pressure and anxiety on the victims of the attack.
If the victims do not meet the deadline, the hacker may increase their asking number or start removing files and data from the infected network.
Protection from Ransomware
There is significant damage caused by ransomware attacks to smaller businesses in particular. This is why it is important to stay protected.
Many businesses are choosing to enact cybersecurity measures such as firewalls, threat monitoring and detection, employee security training, and email filtering to protect themselves from the increasing threat of ransomware attacks.
Working with an expert IT company in Ogden can get you the professional cybersecurity setup you need to protect yourself and your business.