Ransomware is a specific form of malware that encrypts files on the infected device and holds them hostage until the victim pays a ransom. These kinds of attacks date all the way back to 1989, but they’re still very common today, presently the most common strains are Cryptolocker (isolated in 2019), Cryptowall, Locky and Samas or Samsam. You might remember the WannaCry attack that crippled the NHS in 2017. It’s clear that ransomware is coming for all kinds of organisations and it’s important your business takes adequate protection measures.
How can you avoid becoming a ransomware hostage?
- Don’t click on any email attachments or links from sources or senders you don’t know or who look strange. Infected attachments or links to malicious websites are the most common ways to distribute ransomware.
- Backup your files regularly. Having all your data backed up can dramatically minimise the damage caused by a ransomware attack as all of your files and sensitive information can be restored without having to pay a ransom.
- Train your employees on how to spot and avoid ransomware attacks. Remember a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
- Avoid providing personal information whenever possible. Cybercriminals can use this knowledge to trick employees into installing malware.
- Implement effective anti-spam software such as MailCleaner to halt ransomware attacks before they can even reach your or your employee’s inboxes. MailCleaner is easily installed between your mail infrastructure and the Internet and guarantees professional protection against ransomware and viruses while eliminating up to 99% of spam.
- Ensure you frequently complete any system and software updates or enable automatic updates where possible. These updates will help to protect your business from new forms of ransomware attacks. MailCleaner combines multiple technologies to adapt to spammers’ strategies.
- If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, we’d advise you not to pay the ransom. By doing so, you are funding and encouraging the attacks. There is also unfortunately absolutely no guarantee that if you pay the ransom you’ll regain access to your files and sensitive data.