Everything You Need To Know About Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that demands some form of payment from the victim in order to recover control of their computer and data. The payment is usually demanded in a virtual currency, such as bitcoin – this means the cybercriminals identity remains anonymous and difficult to trace.

Unlike usual cyber-attacks, the victim is notified that they are under attack and is given instructions on how to recover from the attack via payment. This payment usually comes with a deadline. If not paid in time as requested, the victims files are encrypted.

How its done

There are multiple ways ransomware can access a computer. Infected software apps, infected external storage devices and compromised websites are all ways hackers can encrypt your data for ransom.

One of the most common ways ransomware attacks can be spread is through malicious email attachments. Malicious email attachments will have an attachment disguised as a legitimate file or a URL link. If either the attachment or link is opened the file will begin encrypting files instantly.

Once the victim’s files have been taken over, they are warned of what is happening through a message presented to them. The only way to decrypt their files is if the victim sends a bitcoin payment to the attacker.

Some attackers may claim to be trustworthy sources meaning the victim may be less likely to report to authorities. However, most attackers don’t take this approach and instead ask for money shamelessly.

Why you should care

Imagine walking into the office one day to see your computer has been locked with a threatening message on the screen. The message is demanding you make a payment in order to retrieve all your files.

You haven’t completed a back-up recently and could potentially lose critical data to your organisation. Think this won’t happen to you? Think again.

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and every organisation is at risk. Your vulnerability can depend on how attractive your data is to hackers, how you respond, your security and how educated your employees are in identifying breaches.

These types of attacks can lead to severe consequences on your business. Potentially impacting your business’s financial performance, reputation and productivity. Organisations with critical data will remain a prime ransomware target. But whatever your size or industry, it’s important to always be vigilant.

Examples of ransomware:

  • WannaCry – This ransomware attack was designed to exploit a vulnerability in Windows. This highlights the issue of how operating on outdated systems could leave you vulnerable to attack. An attack in 2017 affected 230,000 computers globally, hitting a third of hospital trusts in the UK and costing the NHS millions.
  • CryptoLocker –Requires cryptocurrency for payment (Bitcoin) and is spread through infected email attachments. Once this is on your computer, it will search for valuable files and hold them to ransom. Cryptolocker is ransomware that was first seen in 2007 and is thought to have affected around 500,000 computers.
  • BadRabbit – This attack was deployed back in 2017 using a method called a ‘drive-by’ attack. This involves victims visiting what appears to be a legitimate website but instead the site has been compromised by the cyber criminal. Bad rabbit used a fake request to install Adobe Flash as a malware dropper to spread infection. Victims clicked this without realising it was actually malware in disguise.
  • Troldesh – This ransomware attack is spread via spam emails with infected URLS or attachments. Attackers communicate with users directly to demand ransoms. Cyber criminals have even negotiated discounts for victims because they’re able to communicate with each other.

HOW TO PREVENT ATTACKS

REGULAR UPDATES

Keep operating systems patched and up to date to ensure more secure software. Each time you update to the latest security patches, you will maximise ransomware prevention.

n

Back up your files

Backing up your files is a good way to secure yourself from ransomware. While it won’t stop an attack, it can make the damage caused much less significant as all data can be restored to a previous save point.

Educate your staff

It’s important to educate your staff on the threat landscape. Get them into the habit of being vigilant so they can spot and report any potential breaches before they become a problem.

Technology solutions

Investing in good technology like Cisco Umbrella will help you avoid threats before they even hit your network.  It integrates easily with your existing security stack & delivers live threat intelligence about current & emerging threats. With Umbrella, you can stop phishing & malware attacks earlier, identify already infected devices faster & prevent data ex-filtration. 

It’s one of the quickest security features you can apply to your network. Because it is delivered from the cloud, there is no hardware to install or software to manually update. So you can protect all of your users in minutes

Try Cisco Umbrella FREE for 14 days & benefit from cutting edge security at the tap of a button.

COTON GREEN & PURE CLOUD SOLUTIONS

Pure Cloud Solutions and Coton Green Football Club are delighted to announce a new partnership, where Pure Cloud Solutions will become main sponsors of both the Coaches Kit (2021-2023) and Away Team Kits (2022-2024). As a grassroots team, Coton Green FC play in the...

Why is there an Energy Crisis in the UK?

Why is There an Energy Crisis in the UK?And why you need our help more than ever!UK energy prices are rising much faster than in Europe and these surging gas wholesale prices have put unprecedented pressure on the UK suppliers. Industry group Oil & Gas UK has said...

Business Broadband: Which Option is Best?

Filing cabinets and stacks of paper are history in most of today’s businesses. Instead, almost everything we do from a business perspective is via mobiles, computers and most often, via the internet with business broadband. We store and manage data this way, access...

PCS HIGHLY COMMENDED AT COMMS BUSINESS AWARDS

The Comms Business Awards are entirely independent and consists of an industry expert judging panel who review all the channel entries and shortlist the winners for the ceremony evening. The Comms Business Awards are widely known and now entering their 18th year they...

10 QUESTIONS FOR HEAD TEACHERS ON CYBER SECURITY

Every education establishment should have a significant level of security, and this should be reviewed and remain a high priority throughout every academic year. Schools rely a lot on IT technology and cloud services to store important, sensitive data, so it’s vital...

PCS ARE ENERGY ACCREDITED!

EXCITING NEWS - PURE CLOUD SOLUTIONS ARE NOW ENERGY ACCREDITED! We have completed our accreditation to offer energy and to help find you the best deal possible on your gas and electricity! Did you know 40% of businesses in the UK have never switched energy suppliers....

EXPERT BLOG WITH STEVE SHIELDS – ‘IT’S NOT IF BUT WHEN!’

Managing your cyber risk can be a difficult task for many organisations as unfortunately you don’t know when cyber criminals are going to attack. “Over two thirds of educational establishments are concerned with the impact of cybercrime” – Ecclesiastical 2021 You...

PCS JOIN THE BIRMINGHAM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

We are thrilled to announce that Pure Cloud Solutions has joined the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce as 1813 members. We’re passionate about growing relationships with other likeminded businesses within the Midlands and are excited about new opportunities...

PCS ANNOUNCE JAMIE LAKE AS NEW GROUP CEO

Pure Cloud Solutions are so pleased to announce that Jamie Lake, current Managing Director has been appointed to Group CEO after continued success and development within the business. This aligns with the ongoing strategy and Jamie will have a crucial role in the...

HOW OUR UCA TECHNOLOGY CAN SUPPORT THE MEDICAL FIELD

Our Unified Communications solution with our built-in queue buster is programmed to alleviate the stress of your reception desk by managing incoming calls and supporting you to deliver a more efficient process for your patients. We can support any medical practice...

Previous

Next

Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This