Please don’t think you cannot be a victim of Ransomware. It is becoming more prevalent and it can affect anyone, even you!
Criminals are constantly trying to find ways to extract money from unsuspecting victims and in ransomware, they have found a successful and easy to administer method.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system, either by locking the users’ files or locking the system’s screen, unless a ransom is paid. More modern ransomware families, collectively categorized as crypto-ransomware, encrypt certain file types on infected systems and force users to pay the ransom through online payment methods to get a decryption key.
The number of businesses being targeted by ransomware is increasing. Usually, the attackers specifically research and target a victim (often called spear-phishing or whale-phishing) and may try to gain access to the network.
The sensitive files are encrypted and large amounts of money are demanded to restore the files. Generally, the attacker has a list of file extensions or folder locations that the ransomware will target for encryption.
Due to the encryption of the files, it can be practically impossible to reverse-engineer the encryption or “crack” the files without the original encryption key – which only the attackers will have access to.
How Could I Fall Victim to Ransomware?
The majority of attacks come in very cleverly crafted emails. These are sent by cyber-criminals in an attempt to persuade the recipients to click on links that will download the malware. If the criminals have carried out their research fully, the emails will appear to be from someone you know well and will often look authentic.
How Can I Stop Ransomware?
‘Vigilance’ is a key word. You may receive emails with the ransomware at very busy times when you may have less opportunity to check authenticity. Don’t take the risk! Always check emails to ensure it is genuine and if you have even the slightest suspicion, don’t click on anything and report it to your IT support provider.
Vantage IT protects its customers with a multi-layer approach:
- Our IT Support contract provides proactive support which includes server monitoring and recommendations for improving your IT security. For example, we can configure your network so that your users do not have privileges to install 3rd party applications.
- Vantage IT supplies McAfee Endpoint Security and intelligent WatchGuard Firewalls, which are configured to your requirements.
- Our MailSafe service eliminates virtually all forms of spam, including those that contain harmful malware.
- As malware and viruses often work their way into insecure systems, our fully managed PatchSafe service has been developed to run in the background to keep your most commonly used software fully up to date.
- Our DataSafe Cloud Backup service enables us to restore your files should they become encrypted by ransomware.
Please contact Vantage IT if you have concerns about ransomware and would like a quotation to protect your data.