6 Things You Need to Know About Ransomware

6 Things You Need To Know About Ransomware

Here at Onsite Techs one of the problems we often see is Ransomware.  This is a well-named type of cyberattack. Cybercriminals taking this approach steal your data and hold it hostage until you pay a ransome.  They do this by accessing your network to get you files.  Then they encrypt the files and demand payment for the passcode. Here are the top seven things we at Onsite Techs want you to know about this threat.

#1 It Can Happen to You

Cybercriminals rely on your false confidence. Don’t think "it won’t happen to me." Attacks on government, education, healthcare, or financial institutions get publicity, yet organizations of all types and sizes are targeted.

#2 Ransomware Targets People

A popular method is to send out phishing emails hoping that people enter their access credentials. Targeted business communication emails are used too. The attacker gets to know your business first. Then they send an email impersonating a colleague, supplier, or customer asking you to take login to something or update contact details by clicking on the link or downloading a file.

#3 Ransomware is Expensive

Once the ransomware is installed on your system, it locks down your files. To regain access to the files, you need the password or decryption key the attacker supplies when you pay the ransom; that’s if they keep their end of the bargain once you pay. These are criminals you’re dealing with after all!

In Coveware’s analysis of Q3 2019, the average ransom payment increased by 13% to $41,198 as compared to $36,295 in Q2 of 2018. And that’s just the cost of the ransom. Other costs include the cost of downtime, lost revenue, and long-term damage to your brand. There’s also the expense of removing the ransomware, forensic analysis, and rebuilding systems.

The average ransomware attack in Q3 2019 resulted in 12.1 days of downtime. — Coveware

#4 Ransomware Requires Cryptocurrency

Ransom payment is usually made by bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Your business needs to buy cryptocurrency with actual cash, then transmit the ransom. They choose cryptocurrency because it’s very difficult to trace. It doesn’t help you that bitcoin is not something you can charge back like a credit card.

#5 A Recovery Plan is Helpful

Planning in advance can help you respond more strategically. Document your plans to disconnect infected computers from the network as soon as possible. Also, power down any machines that could be vulnerable to avoid spreading contagion.

You should also discuss in advance whether or not your business will pay a ransom. Weighing the costs and benefits without a deadline on the decision can help you react more reasonably.

#6 You Can Avoid Being the Target of an Attack

You don’t have to wait around worrying about a ransomware attack. There are many things you can do to help prevent this type of attack:

  • Filter traffic, preventing it from coming into your network in the first place.
  • Scan inbound emails for threats and block certain attachment types.
  • Use antivirus and anti-spam solutions and regularly upgrade and patch vulnerable software.
  • Educate all users about social engineering.
  • Allow remote access to your network only from secure virtual private networks.
  • Back up your data to more than one location so that you can restore any impacted files from a known source.

Ransomware is a lucrative, relatively easy mode of attack for cybercriminals. They could target your business. Contact Onsite Techs today for help implementing the best protection practices to keep your data safe. Call us at 401 773 7766

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