You’re browsing your emails, like any other day. You notice that you received an email from an unknown sender, with an attachment. You’re intrigued. You open the attachment, but nothing happens. Moments later, your computer give you errors, saying you can’t access your files because they’re locked, and that you have to pay for them to be unlocked.
You have just become a victim of one of the biggest cyber threats in modern times: ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware attack that involves the encryption of your data via a script-filled file entering your system through a weak point or open channel. It always requires you to pay a hefty fee to get your files back.
A real-world problem
The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was infected with ransomware this in February of last year. Hackers managed to access the entire file system of the hospital, locking all patient files, records, and other critical data. They demanded 40 bitcoins (roughly $17,000 at the time). Since the data was critical to Hollywood Presbyterian, they decided that they couldn’t risk going without it. They paid the ransom to get their data back.
The ransom that the hospital experienced was for a relatively low amount. Even now, companies are paying massive amounts of money to get their files and data back. For example, a tech firm in South Korea paid $1 million to get their data back (and that’s after they haggled it down).
What can you do about it?
You don’t have to live in fear of ransomware. By following some simple security best practices, you can protect your business from any kind of ransomware. The most basic step to protect your data is to keep all of your software updated. Application developers are as wary of cyberattacks as you are. That’s why they constantly work to close any exploitable vulnerabilities through patches and updates.
The second thing you can do to help protect your business from ransomware is even more simple than updating your software: Make sure that your passwords are complex. After all, 90% of employee passwords are crackable in 6 hours. Weak passwords allow hackers to easily enter into your systems and gain full control over all of your data. Remembering passwords can be a pain, but losing all of your data is more than painful. It can spell the end for your business, operationally and financially.
Both tips listed above work well as core-level defenses, and they don’t cost you much time or effort to implement.
In a perfect world, they would be enough to fend off even the most aggressive cyberattacks. Unfortunately, there are so many more ways that hackers can enter into your system. Is there a way to defend against them all? As a matter of fact, there is.
Working with IPRO
When we work with your company, we develop a clear roadmap to success by learning about your IT infrastructure and overall business goals before we recommend solutions. We know that in order to best protect you, we first need to know you.
Working with us means that you won’t have to worry about ransomware ever again. That’s because we know all about ransomware, and we’ve been helping organizations like yours deal with malware like this for years. If you’re ready to stop worrying about ransomware and get back to business, we’d love to hear from you.