If you’re at all interested in technology, then you probably know that the number of successful ransomware attacks on computers and mobile devices are increasing by the day. To put this in perspective, Barracuda explains that 47% of businesses been affected by ransomware and that the number of attacks quadrupled in 2016 and will double again in 2017.
Ransomware is a special type of malware (software intended to damage or disable computers) that encrypts all the files on your device while holding your data hostage until you pay a ransom to the hackers. According to Kaspersky, the average ransomware price range is between $300-600. That being said, there’s no guarantee paying the ransom will recover the files. It’s basically an honor system, in the sense that if you pay, the cyber criminals “promise” to give back your data.
Ransomware spreads like many other types of virus’ and malware. The most common method involves being tricked into opening an infected attachment or clicking on a link within a malicious email.
How Do I Avoid Ransomware?
The best way to ensure no loss of data is to regularly back up your data. By backing up your data, you have a way of recovering everything after rebuilding or cleaning your computer. It’s important to back up to reputable, business-level, cloud services or to store backups locally on drives that are not always connected to your network. A common mistake that many businesses make is assuming that the backups are working without occasionally testing the recovery files.
The most surefire way to protect yourself from ransomware is by not getting infected. That may sound obvious but there are certain steps that need to be taken. The first, and most simple, is to avoid opening any email attachments or clicking on links that you aren’t expecting and don’t know the sender. Second, ensure your anti-virus and anti-malware software is up-to-date. Since the attackers are constantly creating new malware, the anti-virus/anti-malware products update frequently to protect against the newest threat. Third, use a standard account on your computers instead of an ‘Administrator’ account. This provides additional protection by preventing malware from installing themselves.
If you’re not taking a proactive approach to ransomware already, now is the time to start. 2017 is well on its way to becoming a record year for attacks and you’ll want to get ahead of it.
At EGLtech, we are constantly improving our processes and offerings to best fight against these types of attacks. Through our software, backups, and training, you can enjoy worry-free sleep knowing your business is protected. Call or fill out our contact form for more information!