The looming threat of “hackers” and “malware” is stressful enough on its own, but what happens when this is taken a step further? A trademark behavior of ransomware is that it often sits dormant in the background waiting for the best opportunity to strike to ensure access to as much data as possible (often while trying to infiltrate other devices in the network).

This article will offer a high-level breakdown of ransomware and what we do to combat it for our clients.

  • Ransomware completely locks down a computer
  • Paying the ransom doesn’t mean you’re scot-free from risk
  • Phishing emails are the number one source of ransomware

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks down a computer, disabling use and access to files, until a ransom sum is paid to regain access. Essentially, all the data is encrypted, and you are purchasing the key to “unscramble” everything on the machine.

Check out this video of a common ransomware attack complete with a countdown timer to data deletion:

The intent behind this is simply scaring and/or inconveniencing the user so much that they feel like they have no option but to pay the ransom. Unfortunately, it was common practice for businesses to pay thinking they could just move on with their day. However, it’s no surprise that criminals aren’t ethical.

There is no guarantee that private data has not been removed from your PC to be posted publicly (or on the dark web), the ransomware can continue lying in wait to lock down the computer again, or you may simply not get back any of your data after paying the ransom.

What Do AtNetPlus’s Tools Do?

We believe in a Business Continuity approach that ensures our users are protected in the face of a serious issue like ransomware. Our backup devices have built-in detection software to detect, isolate, and alert when any known ransomware files are discovered on a connected machine.

Because this software can never be 100% full proof, we also ensure that there are always up-to-date, reliable data backups available so that the machine can be restored to a point before the ransomware encryption allowing the ransom to be avoided in most cases. When restoring a backup, we also scan for malware to help prevent this from resurfacing in the future.

What Can I Do to Reduce My Risk of Ransomware?

The number one cause of ransomware is falling victim to a phishing email attack. Unfortunately, phishing emails are becoming increasingly difficult to spot, so we strongly recommend end-user education that keeps your best line of defense (your employees) diligent against this threat.

To learn more about phishing attempts and download resources on red flags to watch for, visit our Tech+ Academy page on Phishing here.

We know that this can be scary to deal with, but we want to offer peace of mind. Schedule your free network vulnerability scan today:

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