Ransomware is a major problem for many businesses, but it is a topic that’s also surrounded by myths. We’ll clear them up and let you know what you should really be looking out for!
Myth #1: Ransomware is a new threat
Wrong! Ransomware is nothing new. The first known ransomware attack took place back in 2005. Since then, however, the threat has evolved and is now much more complex and dangerous.
Myth #2: Ransomware attacks are rare
Wrong! There’s been a sharp rise in ransomware attacks in recent years. According to a study by Symantec, there were more than 40,000 ransomware attacks per day in 2017, an increase of 300% compared to the previous year.
Myth #3: Only large companies are the target of ransomware attacks
Wrong! Although large companies are frequent targets of all kinds of cyber attacks, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are also heavily affected. In fact, according to a study by Symantec, SMEs have a 60% higher risk of falling victim to a successful ransomware attack.
Myth #4: Only Windows computers can be infected by ransomware
Wrong! Although the majority of ransomware attacks actually affect Windows computers, other operating systems, such as macOS and Linux, are not immune to this threat. Ransomware is a major problem for many businesses.
But what actually is ransomware and how can you protect yourself effectively?
Many employees are not aware of what ransomware is and how dangerous it can be. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up a computer or server, encrypts the files and then asks the company to pay a ransom to get access to their data back. In most cases, it is impossible to recover the files without paying.
To protect themselves from this type of threat, companies, as well as their employees, should be aware of the different types of ransomware and how to defend against them.
One of the most common types of ransomware is Locky. Locky usually spreads via fake emails claiming that you have an invoice or another type of document attached to the email. When the user clicks on the link or attachment, the malware is downloaded and encrypts their files. There is no way to recover these files without paying the ransom. Other types of ransomware include Cryptolocker, CryptoWall and Cerber.
To protect themselves from ransomware, employees should always be careful about which emails they open and which links they click on. Be especially careful with emails from unknown senders or those that have an attachment. If you are not sure whether an email is genuine or not, contact the sender by phone or email before clicking on the link or attachment.
Users should also always make a backup copy of their most important files and store them in a safe place away from their computer. This way, you’ll still have access to your files even if your computer is infected.
What to do in the event of a ransomware attack
If you suspect that your computer has been infected by ransomware, here’s what to do:
- Switch off your computer immediately and restart it. This will prevent the ransomware from spreading and trying to encrypt your data.
- Inform your network administrator or an IT expert. They can check whether your network or computers are affected and what steps are required to remove the malware.
- Back up all the important data you have on your computer. If possible, create a backup of all files on an external drive or in the cloud. This will ensure that you can access your data in the event of an attack.
- Delete all unused or unnecessary files from your computer. These could be infected by ransomware and help the malware spread even further.
- Install an antivirus program on your computer and keep it up to date. This will help prevent future attacks and remove existing malware.
- Keep yourself informed. Ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent and more complex. Keep yourself regularly informed about the latest threats so that you can protect your computer accordingly.
Ransomware: The threat from the net.
Ransomware is a serious problem for companies. The threat of ransomware is real and businesses need to prepare for it. The best way to protect against ransomware is a combination of technical measures and staff training. Companies should regularly check their systems and install security updates. Employees should be regularly informed about security risks and measures.