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Ransomware is a growing threat to businesses of every size, in every industry. The first ransomware was developed in the late 1980s, and payment was sent via snail mail! Today, cybercriminals have become more sophisticated in their use and delivery of malware. In this post, we’ll explore what ransomware is, why you should worry about it, and offer tips for lowering risk.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malware that, when you are infected, locks your system and encrypts your data so you can’t access it. The cybercriminal then demands a ransom payment and instructs you where and how to pay to get the key you need to unlock your data. Paying the ransom however, doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get your data back

There are several delivery methods cybercriminals use to prey on businesses. These include:

• Malvertising – Uses online advertising to distribute malware with little (or no!) user action needed. While browsing online, users may be directed to criminal servers without even clicking an ad. These servers then scan your system and select the best malware to deliver. 

• Malspam – This is the most common way to get infected. This method uses unsolicited emails to deliver malware. In fact, 94% of malware is delivered by email. The email could include infected attachments or a link to a malicious website. Malspam uses social engineering to trick recipients into taking action by appearing legitimate, as if a trusted friend or institution sent the email. 

Why You Should Worry…

Being locked out of your data for a single day will impact your business and revenue. The financial losses can be significant, but the loss to your reputation might be worse. Many businesses that are attacked can’t recover.

Preventing an Attack

Here are a few tips to protect your business from ransomware:

• Train your team.

• Regularly back-up data. Keep a copy offline and offsite.

• Install anti-virus and malware protection.

• Keep programs and systems up to date.

• Beware of links and attachments. When in doubt, throw it out!

Ransomware is difficult to prevent completely. Knowing what to do, training your team, and having a plan in place if you’re attacked is crucial. Taking these preventative steps can help. 

Ready to learn more? Contact us and ask about our Managed IT Solutions. Let us help you create a proactive strategy to keep your data safe and your business protected from today’s evolving security threats.

Created for business and technology leaders, this educational webinar explains WHY, WHERE and HOW cybercriminals are attacking small, medium, and large organizations. Discover how you can protect your data and your business! Register here.

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