Ransomware is an ever-evolving form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device, rendering any files and the systems that rely on them unusable. Malicious actors then demand ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware has been in the news a lot recently. You may have heard stories of attacks on large companies, organizations, or government agencies, or perhaps you've experienced a ransomware attack on your own device. There are a lot of greedy and desperate people out there who know more about your technology than you and plan to take advantage of it. What a scary prospect to have all of your files and data held hostage until you pay up. How many of the files on your device are essential to your livelihood? Our guess is most, especially if you have a network of computers in your business that is infected with Ransomware. It could literally shut down your entire operation and possibly put your customers and clients at risk. This article will help you understand the different forms of Ransomware, how you get it, where it comes from, who it targets, and ultimately, how to avoid a Ransomware attack.
Learn about the latest malware threat 'Praying Mantis' here.
There are several different ways that ransomware can infect your computer. One of the most common methods today is through malicious spam, or malspam, which is unsolicited email that is used to deliver malware. The email might include booby-trapped attachments, such as PDFs or Word documents. It might also contain links to malicious websites.
Malspam uses social engineering in order to trick people into opening attachments or clicking on links by appearing as legitimate—whether that’s by seeming to be from a trusted institution or a friend. Cybercriminals use social engineering in other types of ransomware attacks, such as posing as the FBI in order to scare users into paying them a sum of money to unlock their files.
Another popular infection method, which reached its peak in 2016, is malvertising. Malvertising, or malicious advertising, is the use of online advertising to distribute malware with little to no user interaction required. While browsing the web, even completely legitimate sites, users can be directed to criminal servers without ever clicking on an ad.
The rise of ransomware over the past few years is an ever-growing problem that has quickly become an extremely lucrative criminal enterprise. Targeted organizations often believe that paying the ransom is the most cost-effective way to get their data back — and, unfortunately, this may also be the reality. The problem is that every single business that pays to recover their files is directly funding the development of the next generation of this cyber threat. As a result, it continues to evolve, with more sophisticated variants and more specific targeted cyber attacks. The costs continue to rise as well. Recent research predicts that these attacks will cost the global economy 6 trillion annually in 2021! This makes defending your organization’s data more critical than ever.
When it comes to cyberattacks, catastrophe is just around the corner, and even if your business follows "data security best practices" you may easily not be protected from today’s onslaught of evolving threats. Even if you know how to avoid ransomware attacks, if you don't have an informed IT professional by your side, you'll still be at risk. The only way to ensure that your systems and data are safe is to have a network maintenance and management plan with a professional IT team like Approach Network Solutions to implement security and other defense methods and help you with disaster recovery and restore business-critical data if you're unfortunate enough to get hacked.
We hope we've helped you understand how to avoid ransomware attacks. Recovery strategies should be developed for computer systems, applications and data. This includes networks, servers, desktops, laptops, wireless devices, data, and connectivity. We specialize in identifying the key aspects of your businesses computer and network infrastructure and are knowledgeable technicians know what it takes to bring your back online in a fast and effective manor to minimize downtime for you and your company.