Ransomware: Coming Soon to a Computer Near You!

Ransomware: Coming Soon to a Computer Near You!

As connectivity continues to proliferate via our mobile devices, computers, tablets, smart watches and smartphones, protecting your business network has become a strategic element of risk management you must proactively engage.

Each year, as companies incorporate new technologies, cyber criminals exploit those same technology advancements, like social media automation, to their gain.  Your data is moving around outside the perimeter of your business via mobile devices and computers, making your business assets more vulnerable to cyber-attacks and information leaks. This past year alone, we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in email campaigns delivering ransomware on a global scale.

Ransomware involves a “denial of service for ransom” via a type of malicious software (malware) that cyber criminals can install on your computer.  Your network can be infected with malicious software through a variety of ways; the most popular are email attachments, fake websites, and phony advertisements.  An unaware victim opens an attachment, goes to a website, or clicks on a false ad and the malware automatically downloads to the computer.  Once installed, ransomware enables criminals to hold your data, files, and cloud access for ransom. This is why regular backups of your files are so important.  If you don’t have your files backed up and choose to pay, the criminals may release your data or simply keep you terminally locked out.

NEARLY ONE-HALF HAVE EXPERIENCED RANSOMWARE ATTACKS

Nearly one-half of organizations surveyed have experienced a ransomware attack during the past 12 months.  Among the organizations that have experienced such an attack, the vast majority has encountered comparatively a few of them – a maximum of five.  However, almost 10 percent suffered many more attacks, in some cases in excess of 20.

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Cyber criminals are always on the search for ways to trick potential victims such as the latest authentic looking Microsoft Windows Critical update ransomware called Fantom, or the phishing campaign targeting Amazon users who are emailed Microsoft Word documents containing the Locky ransomware.   The malware appends an extension to the encrypted files, after which it changes the desktop wallpaper into an image that serves as the ransom note, informing the victim that the files have been held hostage.

In one case, a South Carolina school district paid an estimated $10,000 when cyber-criminals locked up its computer servers.

Source: CNN

As the collective online security efforts collaborate to protect potential victims on a large scale, criminals are predicted to migrate toward targets that are smaller and less sophisticated, where their activities are less likely to be monitored.  Does this describe your business?

Be Proactive. Be Vigilant.

Call 405-242-1000 for your FREE IT Security Assessment!

Dobson Technologies provides full and partial outsourced IT managed services and fiber-optic Internet, for small and medium-sized businesses in Oklahoma.