Ransomware – What is it and How to Protect Yourself
Perhaps you have heard of Ransomware. It’s quite popular in recent years. Popular – not in a good way.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware another virus or malware that will slowly encrypt your files and/or cripple your computer to the point of being useless until you pay a ‘ransom’ to get access again.
The scary thing about ransomware is that you often don’t know you are infected until it’s too late, and all of your files are encrypted. All of your priceless photos, videos, and music (or worse CAD files!) are locked up so you can’t use open them. To add insult to injury, any shared network locations or networked computers can easily become infected as well.
It used to be that only individuals were targeted by these computer ‘kidnappers’, but now it seems small, medium, and large businesses are being exploited, in many different sectors of business: Healthcare, Engineering and Architectural Firms, Lawyers, and much more.
In cases that we’ve seen, the ransom is usually enough to put a hurt on your wallet. Depending on the amount of data, and the type of ransomware – the average in the beginning of 2016 was $675. We’ve seen it as high as $10,000+! Ouch!
How do you protect yourself?
As with any virus or malware, having a recovery solution is first and foremost key. So having regular backups is vital. But remember, any storage device or network location can be easily encrypted too. Your backups need to be inaccessible from other devices, otherwise they too might become infected.
You might ask: Doesn’t my anti-virus protect me from these kinds of attacks? Typically no. There’s only a handful of products that even claim to protect against ransomware, and even those are still learning and adopting to this fairly new threat. Which is one reason we can’t speak enough about the importance of proper backups.
Reach out if you would like to discuss your current backup solution, and what software protection is available to you, and how to education yourself to properly protect yourself and your business. We would love to hear from you!