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This article is about ransomware and some tips on ransomware protection.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware, as the name suggests, is a kind of computer malware which affects a system’s normal working unless a ransom is paid by its user. The ransomware are generally of two types – One which encrypts the data on the systems and demands money to give you the decryption key and the second type which completely locks out a user from accessing his system until a sum is paid.  

Ransomware attack have the following threats –

  1. Data kidnapping –  your important data is at risk
  2. Complete Lock down of your systems – your day to day activities may be hampered.
  3. Demand of huge sums of money – ransom

How users get affected

With internet accessibility on every device, it has rather become easy for any kind of malware to travel to newer systems. Ransomware can easily spread through e-mails attachments, infected programs or through some untrusted sites that users visit unknowingly. Once it reaches a system, it has the ability to alter your system files, encrypt them and scramble them making it almost impossible for you to undo its impacts on your own. It can also spread to other systems in the network causing further damage.  

Impact on business

Although any system/user can get affected by ransomware, it is the ‘businesses’ who are the top targets of ransomware creators and distributers. The presence of complex systems sometimes makes them error prone which enables ransomware to enter such networks. Also, small disruptions in business processes can bring huge losses to companies which increases their chances to get paid.

  1. Ransomware can cause major business disruptions because of limited or no access to systems. It can also affect servers and cloud based systems, hence the impacts can be huge.
  2. It can lead to loss of important data and confidential data being leaked away.  Even after the ransom is paid, it is not guaranteed that all the data will be recovered.
  3. It can cost of you money in terms of ransom price and payment.

Generic solutions For Ransomware protection:

There are various things you can do to save your business and make it less vulnerable to such monetizing cyber-attacks.

  1. Ensure your antivirus solutions are always up-to-date across every end point in the business – be it servers, cloud based systems, network devices or even employees hand held devices.
  2. Increase awareness and alertness related to security concerns amongst the team members like the need to avoid clicking unnecessary links or attachments.
  3. Regularly back up your data to be able to recover your data even if your systems are infected.
  4. Add proper administrative rights to all your end points. Reducing privileges can significantly reduce the attacks.
  5. Use whitelisting instead of blacklisting to allow only specific programs to run on your systems. This can save you against unknown new malicious programs.

Security of data is non-negotiable for a business. The list of things that ransomware can do is growing each day which makes it important for everyone to have at least a baseline protection to avoid data loss or any other trouble. These days there are various sophisticated solutions being offered by security companies which can save you from this security concern. What it needs the most is to understand the issues to the core and then carefully lay out a security plan specific to the needs. 

Being the security experts, we can help you create a secure and safe setup for your business. Contact us for more details.

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Further reading on Ransomware protection