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Avoid Ransomware at All Costs

Avoid Ransomware at All Costs

April 3, 2023

It sincerely seems that every other day features news of another cyberattack, and it isn’t uncommon for the word “ransomware" to be tossed around an awful lot. Let’s take a few moments to go over—or review—what ransomware is, and arguably more importantly, how to handle any you or your team encounters.

Ransomware is an Unfortunately (But Understandably) Common Tactic

Ransomware has increased by 13% over the past few years, with 1.7 million attacks happening each day (that’s an average of 19 every second, by the way). Unfortunately, this only makes sense once you consider how effective ransomware is.

In 2022, approximately 20% of breaches could be attributed to a ransomware attack.

That’s a pretty significant number, which makes it all the more important that your team members know how to deal with a ransomware attack.

Ransomware, just as a refresher, is a form of malware that infects a system and encrypts the data contained within, demanding payment in exchange for returned access—although it is very common that a decryption key is never provided, even if payment changes hands. Ransomware is also commonly paired with additional cybercrimes as well. Oftentimes, data will be stolen as well as encrypted, allowing the attacker not only to extort money through the initial infection, but also demand further payments for them not to leak the data they’ve stolen. Alternatively, they could very well just sell the data they’ve stolen for others to abuse.

This makes it more crucial that your entire team understands the dangers that ransomware poses, and what they need to do to prevent it from being a problem.

How to Spot and Mitigate Ransomware

First off, it’s important to avoid contracting ransomware in the first place, so you and your team need to be aware of the risks each day brings. Social engineering is a common way that ransomware is introduced to a targeted system, through malicious downloads and attachments. Educating your team to keep an eye out for potential threats will help you to prevent your infrastructure from being infected.

However, since infection means that your data will be rendered inaccessible, you need to be prepared for that outcome. As a result, you also need to maintain a comprehensive, up-to-date, and (most critically) isolated backup of your data for safekeeping. That way—should a ransomware attack successfully strike—you have the option to minimize the damage done and restore a clean copy of your data.

We can help you prepare to deal with ransomware.

Give us a call at (571) 470-5594 today to learn more.

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