In 2021, several cases of Ransomware attacks on large companies, organizations, and government agencies have occurred. Ransomware has become a significant issue in technology, resulting in billions of dollars lost in the past couple of years.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a device. It uses encryption, which generates a pair of unique keys created by the attacker to encrypt or decrypt files. Typically, the software is dispersed through spam emails, advertising, or targeted attacks.
A ransom is demanded to be paid in order for files to be decrypted and become accessible. Attackers using Ransomware threaten to publish individuals’ personal data or block access to the use of files, databases, and/or applications until the ransom is paid. Ransomware largely affects businesses, limiting access to data needed for daily operation. It is created to spread across an entire network/database to incapacitate the entire business.
How can you prevent Ransomware incidents?
- Only open emails and websites from trusted people and organizations.
- Do not click on any embedded links in emails and do not give out usernames and passwords to any one. One of the most common ways hackers gain access to private networks is through a process called Phishing. Phishing is the act of someone who pretends to work for the company calls/emails/texts asking can you provide them with your login credentials.
- Be sure to maintain current offline, encrypted backups of your data.
- Regularly test your backups.
- Use and maintain security software on your devices, including antivirus and anti-spam software.
- Only use secure wireless networks. If you do use a public wifi network, make sure you are also using a VPN on top of that connection.
- Create and maintain a cyber incident response plan, including notification procedures for a ransomware incident.
With the increase in Ransomware attacks, it is important, especially for businesses, to stay informed and take precautions to prevent incidents.