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.

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...

KASEYA VSA RANSOMWARE INCIDENT

On Friday 2nd July a huge Ransomware attack occurred at Kaseya VSA which was initially reported by their users, as suspicious cases were occurring on endpoints. This has surfaced as a supply chain attack and is expected to impact an extortionate number of businesses....

WHY YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD INVEST IN A SOFTPHONE

Due to the recent global pandemic more businesses are now embracing remote working and are integrating this approach as a permanent fixture into their polices going forward due to the success businesses had in 2020. Whether the majority of your business is still...

How to Successfully Upgrade your Technology

Making the switch to more advanced technology can often leave you feeling overwhelmed and can often raise a number of concerns centred around security, updates, user interruptions, technology failing resulting in downtime and more if not deployed correctly. However,...

EMPLOYING THE BEST FIREWALL PROTECTION

With today’s ever-changing threat landscape, it’s important to ensure that you’re protecting your network and it’s users. By not keeping your firewall up to date, it will be susceptible to advanced threats and your network will be open to vulnerabilities. An up to...

INVEST IN A LEASED LINE WITH PCS

With the rapid advancements with technology, never before has there been such a need for data and never before has data been so affordable! Most businesses utilise online platforms everyday and this has only increased due to employees remote working as a result of the...

The Importance of Good IT Support

All businesses no matter what size need technology. Sorry it’s a fact! It’s essential to allow a company to service its customers and to ensure the staff are working efficiently. This technology requires a substantial investment so why would you not engage with...

Cloud Based PBX – Replacing your Outdated Hardware

Effective communication is an integral part of any organisation. It allows us to converse with clients and with staff internally, which makes it such a crucial component to any business. If this factor was stripped back, then business operations would begin to crumble...

WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER FMC!

If you want your business to run seamlessly especially when staff operate from home, then we suggest that you evaluate areas of your organisation that could potentially benefit from a new solution? If you’re a business with a field-based workforce or staff that work...

How to Choose the Best Telephony Provider for your Business?

When there is a business decision to be made most business owners or decision makers will follow a process and complete thorough due diligence before making a commitment and this should be no different when it comes to choosing which partner to work with for your...

Previous

Next

Submit a Comment

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This