Ransomware has been hitting the headlines in recent weeks. With the news of Belgium-based aircraft parts and aviation equipment maker, Asco, being the victim of a “large scale ransomware attack” companies have been given a stark reminder of the very real threat of ransomware.

According to reports, the infection took place from the company’s Zaventem plant in Belgium on Friday 7th of June. It resulted in Asco shutting down factories in Germany, Canada and the US. “Whether ASCO has paid the ransom is unclear, but the impact on its operations is clearly severe.”

What is ransomware?

The idea of ransomware is to hold your own computer data hostage until a ransom is paid. This is done by a piece of malicious software (ransomware) finding its way into your computer and locking and encrypting your computer data. Ransomware can be deployed from an email attachment, or an untoward online ad. Keep in mind as well, that as these are criminals we’re dealing with, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom means access will be restored.

How can we avoid being affected by ransomware?

As with so many things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best way to battle against ransomware is to stop it reaching your computer data in the first place.

In order to protect against ransomware, there are a couple of ‘best practices’ to bear in mind.

  • Use good quality anti-spam software, such as Mailcleaner. This is your first line of defence against malicious software such as computer viruses, malware or ransomware. Our services block 99% of potentially harmful spam email before it reaches your inbox.
  • Keep up to date with the latest ransomware trends. By monitoring the cybercriminal technologies and techniques you can ensure that you stay ahead of the curve in regards to ransomware
  • Use cloud based back-ups. These services provide the helpful ability to ‘roll back’ to a previous, unencrypted form of your stolen data.
  • Do not pay the ransom! There’s no guarantee that this will get your data back and if a cybercriminals senses that you’re desperate to get your files back, they may just keep asking for higher and higher sums of money.

 

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