As the internet has become a popular means of conducting business and exchanging information, it has become an enticing target for hackers. Hackers expend time and money creating malware that can steal personal information or extort money from unsuspecting users.
Learn more to keep your business network protected from ransomware:
In recent times, ransomware has become a popular means that hackers use to extort money. Ransomware is a malware that hijacks a network and denies access to it until a specified amount of money is paid. The first ransomware attack was known as the AIDS Trojan and occurred in 1989; this form of malware has grown in popularity since then.
Ransomware attacks come in two variants. These are:
- Encrypting ransomware: This is also known as crypt ransomware. In this instance, the hacker encrypts the files of the victim until the ransom demand is met. After the ransom has been paid, the hacker the provides the victim a decryption key
- Locking ransomware: The hacker locks the victim out of the device so that files cannot be accessed. This lock is removed after the ransom is paid
Over the past several years, numerous companies have fallen victim to ransomware attacks. One of the most recent global ransomware attacks is Wannacry; South Korea web provider Nayana paid a ransom of $1 million to get the locks removed from its data. Other examples of ransomware that have recently affected companies globally are Petya and NotPetya.
Given the adverse financial consequences of being a victim of ransomware, it is essential to keep a network secure and protected.
Several ways of protecting a network from ransomware include:
- Back up: Files should be backed up regularly and frequently. They should also be kept in a separate network or offline. That way, if the network becomes compromised by ransomware, the backup can be used to restore data and minimize disruption
- Phishing emails: Attention should be paid to emails that contain suspicious links as they could provide an avenue for a ransomware attack. Emails with suspicious links should be immediately deleted. In a company, the network administrator should also be notified
- Patches/updates: Devices connected to a network should always have the latest software patches and updates installed
- Antivirus: All devices within a network should have an up to date antivirus software installed
In brief, the better protection against ransomware or malware is a backup regimen. Ransomware usually lock down backup systems that are already on the network, so it is essential to have an internal backups on drives or servers or you can keep information off site!
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