Ransomware on the Rise: What You Need to Know

 

Ransomware-med

Ransomware is a web page pop-up or email that masquerades as something trying to help you.  It uses the panic it creates to cause users to click on a link or pay a ransom, which can then trigger additional malware.  A typical message might be:

  • “Your computer has been infected with a virus. Click here to resolve the issue.”

This is the most common entry point.

  • “Your computer was used to visit websites with illegal content. To unlock your computer, you must pay a $100 fine.”
  • “All files on your computer have been encrypted. You must pay this ransom within 72 hours to regain access to your data.”

The Costly Consequences

Users who fall into this trap have their data “hijacked” and held for ransom, literally.  The files on the computer, or on the computer network, are encrypted and result in ransomware infections.  Some of the more negative consequences can include:

  • Temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information.
  • Disruption to regular operations.
  • Financial losses incurred to restore systems and files.
  • Potential harm to an organization’s reputation.

To make matters worse, paying the ransom does not always guarantee hijacked files will be restored, though it does guarantee that the criminals now have access to users’ banking and/or credit card information.

What Can You Do?

Don’t panic.  The best way to avoid the cost, inconvenience, and risk of ransomware is to take the following preventative measures:

  • Employ a data backup and recovery plan for ALL critical information.
  • Keep your operating system and software up to date with the latest patches.
  • Maintain and update anti-virus software and scan all software downloaded from the internet prior to executing.
  • Restrict users’ ability to install and run unwanted software applications.
  • Avoid enabling macros from email attachments.

Griffin Networks specializes in making sure your critical business communication systems run smoothly and seamlessly. Our experienced team delivers reliable, efficient, and complete solutions custom-tailored to meet your specific needs, your timeframe and your budget.

Give us a call at 301.921.0922.  Griffin Networks…IT Solutions that Work!