Experts estimate that a ransomware attack happens every 11 seconds and the average downtime a company faces after a ransomware attack is 21 days. Can your company afford that?
This is no longer a big company problem. Most recently, a larger percentage of small to medium size businesses seem to be the preferred choice of attacks. They are taking advantage of a lack of technical knowledge or that the business had not yet invested the time and money in the tools to protect themselves.
For those that do not know what it is, ransomware is a severe form of malware that can take your data and files and encrypt them. Once encrypted the attackers will ask for some form of payment to release the trapped data. In most cases users are given instructions once infected on how to decrypt their data. It is common to pay the attackers and not receive your data back.
Now that we a covered what ransomware is, let’s talk about how it works.
The most popular flavor of ransomware used by attackers are phishing spam, when you receive emails with attachments masked as files that look familiar or friendly. The person opens these attachments and unknowingly, a file is downloaded and executed in the background allowing the attacker to now take control over the PC. Once the PC is infected there is a high risk of spreading to other machines very quickly causing the same result.
Once the encryption happens there is no way to undo the damage without the decryption keys. Either a pop up or file containing instructions from the hackers will be visible. Most of the time money sent via Bitcoin is requested in order to receive a decryption code to unlock your files. As mentioned above, there are cases where payment is made, and decryption keys are sent but the files still remain locked.
A lot of businesses are unaware of the severity or believe “it won’t happen to us” and can leave the business vulnerable. There is no real reason as to why hackers choose certain businesses over others as their victim but being prepared and protected will avoid situations as these.
There are many ways to protect your business from being a ransomware hostage. Choosing a good web filtering service, email filtering service, Endpoint protection software, and user community awareness and training are all powerful tools to help stop you from being the next victim.