Ransomware Fundamentals

Category: Data Security , Cyberbytes
Author: NXTsoft

Ransomware has claimed many major organizations throughout the 21st century. Many large enterprises underestimate hackers, believing that an IT team can defend against any form of cyber attack. However, ransomware attacks often target nontechnical employees, implementing strategic attacks that enter the company network undetected. Once hackers have claimed their victims it's often too late to protect critical information. This makes it extremely critical for every member in an organization to understand the fundamentals of what ransomware is and how to prevent it.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious malware that hackers use to infect computer systems and hold valuable data hostage. The attacker continues to hold the data through encryptions, demanding a payment in exchange for the data. Ransomware is often placed within phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or links.

Ransomware is built and sustained on the element of fear and panic. Victims are often sent fake messages that say your computer has been infected with a virus. Click here to resolve this issue. Users mistakenly click on these links out of fear, usually installing additional malware onto the infected system.

Ransomware attacks are seen on both personal and business devices. Unfortunately, paying the ransom doesn’t always solve the problem. Hackers who receive the payment requested will often continue to ask for money without relinquishing the data. However, avoiding the payment can also spell disaster as many organizations have had to pay millions of dollars to work around what was lost in the attack.

How to Prevent Ransomware

The best way to prevent any form of malicious cyber attack is for all employees to use great caution and awareness when operating on the network. Organizations are also advised to employ a data backup and recovery plan for critical data and information. These backups should be tested regularly to ensure they are operating properly at all times. Additionally, operating systems should always be updated with the latest security patches. Unattended systems reveal vulnerabilities to a hacker, in which they try to exploit before the system can be updated.

Organizations should also implement an antivirus and scan any downloads from the internet before executing. Lastly, users within an organization should have automated restrictions which prevent installation of unwarranted software applications. Restricting these privileges could save the organization from falling victim to a ransomware attack.

Rest easy with ThreatAdvice vCISO

Summary

Ransomware has claimed many victims over the last decade. Ransomware is defined as
malicious malware in which hackers use to hold important information and data hostage. Users are then required to pay a specific amount of money to regain access to their files. However, hackers are not always inclined to return stolen information despite receiving payment. Ransomware is rooted in instilling fear and panic within victims. Users must be careful when operating on the company network and report anything that looks suspicious. Systems should always stay updated with the latest security software, and restrictions should be set to prevent automatic downloads. Following these guidelines can help any organization avoid falling victim to ransomware.

For assistance in evaluating your strategies, technical requirements, staff evaluations and communications contact ThreatAdvice to learn more.

Related Readings

Ransomware: How to defend your company's vital data

How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware: 5 Steps

What Are the Types of Ransomware Attacks and How Do I Avoid Them?

Ransomware and How to Avoid it with Jay Brackman | NXT Up! Episode 8

December 3, 2020
Back
Share this post on social media