Ransomware on the Rise in 2020 – Reduce the Risk

3 Mar

It’s really no surprise that ransomware is on the rise! Although, one would think that in 2020, with all the security measures available to thwart off the efforts of opportunistic cybercriminals, we would be wise to their attacks. The fact of the matter is that security is mostly fine. In most instances, it is human error that leads to a business’s downfall when it comes to ransomware.

How Ransomware Works

Most victims of ransomware seem completely taken aback by the fact that they have become the target of a ransom attack. What they don’t realise is that in most instances a computer is infected when a person visits an infected website, opens an email and clicks on a link, or downloads and opens links from unknown senders.

Emails with infected links and attachments are known as “phishing emails”, and more often than not it’s just a case of carelessness that leads to falling victim to one.

When the link is clicked and the ransomware is installed, it first finds somewhere to hide itself on the device. The virus typically presents as a system file which makes it difficult to remove as it looks like an essential file for the computer’s system.

The ransomware is designed to then seek out backups visible on the computer – such as saved documents and images. It then either encrypts the files and images or simply erases them. When the user tries to access their files, a display is shown demanding that a ransom is paid for the files to be decrypted. These days, the ransom is usually demanded in Bitcoin.

The Danger of Ransomware

Ransomware presents a business with both direct and indirect costs with the expense of replacing systems and installing new defence mechanisms. Further to that, the business runs the risk of losing customers at the time of the attack and might seem to be a security risk in the eyes of prospective customers. You could find yourself losing thousands or even hundreds of thousands of rand when you fall victim to ransomware.

How to Protect Your Business

Being prepared for malware and ransomware is important. In order to prepare your business for such attacks, you need to make sure that your employees are educated on the many risks they face.

They also need to be well aware of how ransomware or malware attacks present themselves. You should have a no-click or no-download policy on links and attachments in emails from unverified sources. You also need to have a process or strategy in place to help you recover from data loss in the event of a successful attack on your business.

While educating your staff members and being prepared for an attack are essential protection methods, there are other things that you can do as well:

  • Always ensure that you have the latest updated version of the systems you are running. These are designed to be able to fight off the latest attacks.
  • Securely backup all your important and sensitive data to a cloud backup service that is encrypted. This will mean that you don’t need to pay the ransom. You can clear the computer, pep up your security and then download your latest backup onto your device again. Easy!
  • Run malware security software on your devices on a regular basis.

Last Word

While ransomware is on the rise in 2020, it doesn’t have to impact on your life or your business too. Make sure that you are prepared for this year’s onslaught of attacks and rest assured that by simply being aware and taking precautions, you are that much safer out there in the online world.

Comments are closed.