What is Ransomware? Let’s say it can disrupt your entire operation and is very expensive to resolve. Ransomware is a malware that installs itself on your computer without being detected, as it is very common for it to bypass traditional Anti-Virus applications. After it is installed, it executes an encrypted virus attack that severely affects your system by locking access to data and demanding a ransom in order to unlock it.
Reports from Reuters have cited the FBI in a statement indicating that Ransomware attacks have cost victims Millions of dollars as can be seen here: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-ransomware-idUSKCN0X917X.
Should you pay if your data is held by a Ransomware attack? Experts agree that you should not pay. This will flag you as an ‘easy’ target by cyber criminals who have the means to target you again down the road. If you give in once, be prepared to be targeted more frequently by extortionists.
However, risk evaluation needs to be considered if you do not intend to comply with cyber extortionists. Especially if you are a hospital, police department, or other critical institution. In these cases, many have decided to pay as the risk of not complying with the extorter outweighed the cost.
How do you protect myself from Ransomware attacks?
- Plan for the Worst: Implement a Disaster Recover Strategy
- Back it Up: Back up and store your date on and/or off-site
- Upgrade Your Cyber-Security: Research and implement different tools to keep you safe
- User Behavior: Train your staff on best practices such as avoiding opening suspicious emails or attachments and more
- Security Tools: Use an Anti-Virus product that has automatic updates and a real-time scanner
- Call AlphaKOR: AlphaKOR’s Cyber-Security division can help identify risks, help implement best practices for your team, and provide solutions to protect you from Ransomware and other threats to your operation