We all know what a computer virus is, and most of us take action to protect our computers from becoming infected at home and in business. However, you may not have heard of ransomware. This is a specific type of malicious software virus which blocks you from your computer until a specified sum is paid to the cyber criminals responsible for the attack.
Ransomware is one of the most harmful and destructive variants of malware, so many people just pay the fee and move on to restore business operations and to avoid more loss of productivity. Paying to get rid of the malware isn’t cheap – one hospital in the US paid £17,000!
Picking up the virus
Like many types of malware, ransomware is spread most easily through email. PC’s are most susceptible – you or your staff only need to open one of the millions of malicious phishing emails sent out every single second to businesses. Typical traps include emails which offer a financial bonus, provide fake online purchase receipts, job applications and many more.
Be prepared and you’ll be fixed in no time
Talk to your IT support provider about malware and what precautions they have put in place to keep you secure. Many servers are cloud based now and/or have regular back-ups which can help. According to ITWire ‘in the case of a ransomware attack, businesses can easily ‘roll back’ their data to an uninfected version, so no ransom needs to be paid. And, of course, this second copy has the added benefit of preventing data loss via accidental deletion’.
In 2016 SonicWall reported 638 million attacks. That’s more than 167 times the number of attacks in 2015. Be prepared, read our infographic for hints, tips and stats.