Hackers have the ability to steal data from businesses, destroy their equipment with viruses and damage their credibility by leaking the information they are trusted to safeguard for their clients. All of these actions harm innocent companies every year, but a more serious threat now exists. Ransomware is something that every business owner must be aware of and be prepared to protect themselves against.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is an effective money maker for criminals and a nightmare scenario for the business it affects. It is when an encrypted wall is used to prevent a company from accessing the internal data they need to run their operation. It means the inability to access any client folders, financial data or any other information stored by the company. To have the wall removed the business must pay a specified amount to the hacker. It is a financially devastating event between the cost of addressing the problem or paying the ransom and the loss of business companies experience during the attack.
How do people become targets?
Ransomware is something that everyone is vulnerable to experiencing. It may be picked up on a website that has been compromised or connected to an email attachment. It attacks the computer, and others within its network when the attachment is opened.
How can the risk be reduced?
Every business must make certain all of their employees understand how to fight computer hackers. They should be cautious of what websites they access, never open attachments unless they know the sender and avoid clicking on links in emails from unknown senders. Backing up data is also vital in order to prevent the complete shutdown of the company in the event of an attack. It is also important to use cyber security services that offer a multi-pronged approach to preventing these types of issues. Data security, real-time management and a secure cloud help to protect data, documents and apps.
Experts recommend that if the worst happens before enacting a complete protection plan it is never a good idea to pay the ransom. There is no way to guarantee the encryption will be removed and there is practically no chance of ever receiving compensation for the money paid out. Victims that pay their attackers are also more likely to be targeted again in the future.