No business is completely immune to cyberattacks and hacking attempts. There are numerous reports on how small businesses and large corporations are on the radar of hackers. Malware attacks remain the most common cybersecurity concern. Hackers use backdoor exploit to infect systems and get valuable information, and they often use ransomware. What exactly is ransomware and should your company worry about it? In this quick guide, we are discussing the basics for every business.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware, and it does exactly what the name suggests – hackers gain information and valuable data, and in exchange of that, they ask for a ransom. Ransomware gets installed when an unsuspicious user downloads a file, clicks a link, or visits certain web pages. Hackers also rely on phishing links to infect systems with ransomware. Popups and other means are also used to make the most of ransomware.
How does ransomware work?
Ransomware basically scans a system or network for files, and when files are found, these are encrypted, so the user wouldn’t be able to access them. The ransomware will then notify the necessary sources or admis about the attack and will ask for a payment, following which a key will be offered for unlocking the encrypted information. Mostly, hackers are asking for payments through bitcoin, and payment links are sent to targets directly.
Responding to ransomware attacks
Businesses to have standard protocols for handling ransomware attacks, if one happens. The first step is to identify the device that has been infected, and it must be disconnected and isolated from others, because ransomware can keep infecting systems on a network. Inform all employees and workers who need to know, and talk to the cybersecurity team without any delay. Paying the money doesn’t always guarantee that you will get the key, so don’t be tempted to pay the money, even if the amount is small.
Taking preventive steps
It is absolutely necessary to take preventive steps to avoid ransomware and malware attacks in the first place. Ensure that your team and employees are following the basic cybersecurity practices, and it is also necessary to install antimalware and antivirus software. Ensure that passwords are strong and changed frequently, and where required, consider multifactor authentication. It is also wise to keep backup of data, and if viable, consider network segmentation. Businesses also need to ensure that people are trained, and if that means hiring an expert to explain cybersecurity practices, that investment is worth it.