We all take part in the digital world every day, some of us more than others, but we are all exposed to it. Unfortunately, some dangers and hazards come with existing in any digital space. There are forms of fiendish software, viruses, and targeted intrusions that are out there just waiting around for the perfect opportunity to take advantage of our vulnerabilities and sensitive information. It is vital that you and your IT services stay up-to-date on the types of threats we face and the best strategies to deal with them.
What is Ransomware?
When you hear the word ‘ransomware,’ some immediate questions come to mind. Is ransomware a virus? How can it affect me? Will my antivirus software stop it? How does it get into my systems? Threats like this can be less scary once you remove the mystique and explain the bare bones of how they operate.
Ransomware is a malicious form of malware that will threaten to expose or continually encrypt a victim’s data. It targets sensitive information that you either don’t want to be published or that you need to operate. Once your data in threatened, there are demands for a ransom payment with a promise of the safe return of your data.
The people that are deploying this type of malicious software can be quite clever. Many of them use superior crypto-viral methods that are extremely difficult to decrypt without the key. You might think that just paying the ransom is the answer. Even if the ransom is paid, the money is often challenging to track for any law enforcement agency. This means catching the perpetrators is always uncertain.
The Real-World Implications
These attacks can affect businesses and the world on a massive scale once they get out of hand. The prime example is the now infamous WannaCry ransomware attack. This 2017 attack spread throughout the internet and infected over 220,000 computers in more than 150 countries.
Once the software was inside these systems, it encrypted vital data and started a 7-day deadline before it would just delete everything. It used 20 different languages to demand payment from all the affected users. The victims of this attack included:
- The British National Health Service
- 16 hospitals
- Deutsche Bahn
- The Russian Interior Ministry.
How Do We Protect Your Systems?
There are multiple types of ransomware out there. The majority of them make their way in through email attachments. A user will often unknowingly be led to a site or open an email they think is safe and then the malware is downloaded without them knowing. A ransomware infection will then spread wherever it can throughout the operating system and begin its’ tasks of stealing or encryption.
One of the best strategies you can have in place is a partnership with a service provider that offers some training to your employees in what to watch out for and what sort of sites or emails to avoid. Willow Bend Systems is equipped with this form of assistance and much more. We will supply you with antivirus software and intrusion protection that is continually updated with the latest precautions for malware attacks.
Beyond the high-quality security posture that we will build for you, Willow Bend Systems will also help you implement a strategy of routine backups that exist on external drives that do not have regular access to at-risk networks. This will provide a backup and disaster recovery option for your systems. Protect yourself, your employees, and your customers. Partner with Willow Bend Systems today to defend your business.