Do you remember this famous dialogue from the movie Taken? “I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career.”
The real question is, do you possess an impressive set of skills that can rescue you from a similar situation as the one in the movie?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that uses encryption to bar you from accessing the key files in your computer or server, and it only gets worse from there.
Just how bad is Ransomware?
If you are looking for specific numbers, the FBI claims the use of Ransomware to be a one-billion-dollar-a-year crime in 2016 alone. That number is excluding the costs of downtime, lost productivity, and business opportunities. Many are even anticipating this year to be the year of Ransomware.
Although a Symantec report identifies a few sectors that were the most attacked (the services sector reported 38 percent organizational infection followed by manufacturing, finance, insurance and real estate, and public administration), cyber criminals are quite ruthless in picking up their victims and making anybody vulnerable to a Ransomware attack. The report also found that the average ransom demanded in 2016 has jumped to USD679.
The situation is scary, but there are two options — to remain scared and pray that you get lucky and are spared an attack, or to stay prepared. We can help you with the latter.
Ways to Defend Yourself
The following steps would help you avoid a Ransomware attack:
• Maintain a strong firewall by using topnotch antivirus software.
• Back up files often to either an external hard drive or to an online backup service.
• Enable your popup blocker. If a popup appears, click on the close or X in the right-hand corner instead of pressing the buttons within a popup.
• Be cautious about the emails that you open or click. Avoid clicking any suspicious items.
• If you receive a Ransomware note, disconnect from the Internet immediately to stop your personal data from getting transmitted to the criminal.
• If you have backed up your data, re-install the software.
• Inform the local police or the FBI.
With the amount of Ransomware having grown by more than 300 percent in 2015, it’s high time to seek protection against these malicious attacks. Don’t be tempted to pay the ransom. The FBI warns that there is no guarantee you will ever receive the encryption code to set your computer free. Having a system of vigilance in place is the best solution to avoid becoming a victim in the first place. If you are on the lookout for a suitable solution, our MSP team can help. Get in touch with one of our reps to learn how our defense model can stop a Ransomware attack dead in its tracks.