Ransomware attacks are on the rise and they’re getting more sophisticated. If you think an attack will never happen to you, think again. Small businesses are a popular target for cyber criminals because of their limited security resources and lack of IT support. Even big companies like hotels and restaurants have been hit with ransomware attacks because they are not able to detect malware as easily as other businesses due to the nature of their business. Ransomware is a type of virus that locks up your files or computer, usually through encryption, and demands a ransom payment in exchange for access to your files or computer again. It’s known as “ransomware” because the attackers typically ask for payment in untraceable Bitcoin currency in order to get access to your locked files or computer.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software (malware) that blocks you from accessing your own computer, network or data by encrypting it. Ransomware attacks are on the rise, affecting business owners, home office workers, students and anyone who uses a computer or smartphone. It’s important to be prepared and know what to do if you are hit with ransomware. A ransomware attack is when a hacker gets into your computer and blocks you from using it by encrypting the data on it (like your files, photos, videos, databases, etc.). The attacker then demands a ransom payment (usually in untraceable Bitcoin currency) in exchange for the decryption key you need to unlock your data again.
How do You Know If You’ve Been Hit with Ransomware?
The first sign of a ransomware attack is when you try to open a file or computer and it won’t let you. You might see a message like, “Unable to open file. Ransomware has encrypted this file.” You might also see a message that warns you that your computer has been hacked and that you need to pay a ransom to get your files back. Most ransomware attacks are automated, so it’s even possible that your computer is locking you out without any visible warning message. If you think you might have been hit with ransomware, you should not pay the ransom (see below). Instead, you should immediately disconnect the computer from the internet, shut it down and call in the experts. You may be able to stop the attack before it spreads and encrypts your other files.
3 Ways to Protect Your Business From Ransomware
The key to protecting your business against ransomware is having proper backups. This way, if you’re attacked and your data is encrypted, you can just restore it from a previous backup and avoid having to pay the ransom. Ideally, you’ll have local backups and an offsite backup as well. That way, if one backup source gets attacked, your data is still safe. You can also protect your computer and network with a security software like an antivirus and firewall. Here are a few more tips: – Patch your systems regularly. Install software updates as soon as they’re available so you have the latest protection against ransomware and other malware. – Use strong passwords and don’t share login credentials across systems or providers. – Train all employees on how to identify scams and avoid opening suspicious emails or clicking on links or files from unknown senders. – Install a security software like an antivirus and firewall on all computers and devices.
2 Ways to Detect Ransomware and Stop It Before It Starts
If your business falls victim to a ransomware attack, there are ways to detect and stop it before it starts. For example, you can use a next-generation firewall that can detect ransomware activity and stop it before it can encrypt your files. This is especially important if you have internet-connected devices (like sensors, smart cameras, etc.) that cyber criminals could exploit to launch ransomware attacks. Another way to detect and stop ransomware is by using security analytics. The internet of things (IoT) and big data technology is helping companies detect cyber attacks and ransomware with ease. Security analytics uses algorithms that analyze your network data to look for abnormalities and flag suspicious activity. Prevention is always better than a cure, and it’s especially true for ransomware. If you regularly update your systems, use strong passwords, train employees on how to avoid scams, and use the latest security technology, you can lower your risk of falling victim to ransomware.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and small businesses are an especially popular target for cyber criminals. The key to protecting your business against ransomware is to have regular backups in place and use the latest security technologies. You can also detect and stop ransomware before it starts by using next-generation firewalls and security analytics.