Ransomware is a type of malware that withholds access to the victim’s data unless the victim pays a ransom.
How do ransomware attacks work?
Ransomware is often transmitted through phishing emails that contain the malware embedded in attachments or links in the email. Once the malware is on the network, files on the network are encrypted until the ransom is paid. The attacker (might) send the encryption key after ransom is paid.
Current ransomware attacks are more complicated with the attackers stealing company data and threatening to expose the data breach if a ransom is not paid. Denial of service attacks can be launched at the victim company impairing their ability to stay online.
Ransomware attacks have increased in the past few months, so we have put together some tips to help you prevent a ransomware attack on your business.
- Back up your systems and store the back ups separately from the network.
- Train your employees to recognize what ransomware infections look like and how to recognize malicious emails. Some, but not all, examples are as follows: a pop up message that appears on the screen telling you that you have ransomware; weird files that you don’t recognize; having no access to files that you normally are able to access; locked web-browsers; or unexpected software on your computer.
- Prepare a response plan in case your organization should experience a ransomware attack.
- Keep your operating systems and applications updated and patched.
- Use information security technologies including endpoint protection, firewalls, email filters, etc.
- If you are a business, it is beneficial to talk about how your company would respond to varying ransomware attacks. Planning appropriate responses to these attacks prior to the attack allows companies to make thoughtful decisions rather than making decisions during a stressful situation.