There is no shortage of tools and sneaky tricks at the disposal of cyber criminals who are looking to abuse and take advantage of potential victims. In recent times, it appears that more and more cyber criminals and hackers are using ransomware as their weapon of choice. Knowing exactly what ransomware is, how to identify it, and how to avoid falling victim to it, is critical to the survival of any business. Fortunately, this particular malware has a few distinct characteristics that make it relatively simple to identify.
Like many online attacks, ransomware is accurately summed up by its name. Basically, ransomware is a type of malware that allows hackers to encrypt the files of an infected computer or network, and then demand that the user pay a ransom in order to gain access to the files once again. Typically, hackers will request that payment be made in some type of crypto currency, which is untraceable. To add a sense of urgency to this demand, the extortionist will include a time limit with their demands, threatening to either delete the files or double the amount demanded if the deadline passes.
Due to the typically high ransoms associated with ransomware, there are some targets which tend to be assaulted more than others. After all, a cyber-criminal's motivation for utilizing ransomware is financial gain, and so they will be more apt to attack targets with more capital and higher liquidity. This means that businesses are much more likely to be targeted than a private user, although there have been many cases of the latter.
A favorite tactic of malware distributors is the use of email phishing, or sending out deceptive emails that look to fool the recipient into allowing the malware to access their system. These emails can appear to be from a variety of senders, from government organizations to industry peers, and can often be very convincing. The malware is sent along as an attachment that executes once it is opened, bypassing many of the system's defenses through the user's permission. All of this combines to make ransomware prevention a critical part of your IT security strategy.
This tendency for malware to spread via phishing provides two more reasons that businesses are frequently designated as targets: camouflage and points of access. Businesses tend to receive many emails. Clients, coworkers, and the assorted other contacts that reach the inbox as an employee does their work will give an employee plenty to review, which eventually will lead to the employee managing their email on autopilot. If a corrupted email looks legitimate, what cause would an employee have to worry? These assumptions (the ones that lead to short-sighted clicking) are precisely what cyber criminals rely on to infiltrate their victim's systems.
Sure Network Solutions can help show you how to avoid the unfortunate repercussions of ransomware. If you have questions about ransomware protection, ransomware prevention, ransomware removal, malware of any kind, or if you simply would like tips on how to best protect your data and infrastructure from ransomware, call us today for more information.
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