Unfortunately, ransomware is becoming an ever prevalent issue with our computers and devices. It is vital to keep your business and information protected from these sorts of unwarranted attacks and therefore you will want to be able to identify the essential characteristics of ransomware. This will enable you to spot it before it can affect your system and potentially steal your data or information.
What is ransomware?
Put simply, ransomware is a virus that can take over your computer and lock you out of it; named for the hackers that demand payment for your information back (essentially holding your data to ransom). They state that if you don’t do this then they will wipe your files. While they usually promise you access to your files once you have paid, some hackers do not give you access back.
How to detect ransomware
The main way ransomware can get onto your computer is through user-initiated actions. This could be that the user clicks on a link that has been sent through an e-mail or is on a compromised website. The links can be well disguised, but it is important to check things such as that the url you are clicking on is protected by an SSL certificate and that it doesn’t contain suspicious characters or words.
In an email, check that it comes from a legitimate source and email address. If in doubt, email the company to check their official email address. Never click on any suspicious links and if you do suspect it to be spam, you can forward it to the company involved to ensure they know that either their systems are compromised, or someone is pretending to be them to send malicious links.
What to do about ransomware?
Ransomware can be devastating to businesses and cause a lot of stress to both the company and the person whose computer is attacked. Because of this, it is always better to nip the problem in the bud before it can happen, by training your staff to recognize ransomware before they click on it.
Cybersecurity training is what keeps people up to date in how to best recognize ransomware and what to do should they spot it. Other things you can do to help reduce the chances of an attack include:
Backup all your information on the cloud—this means that were your computer to be completely shut down, you wouldn’t lose everything on it.
Use and regularly update your antivirus software—these should be able to stop malicious emails reaching your account and also flag up anything suspicious. If it finds something malicious on your computer it can detect and get rid of this for you.
Have a response plan—should a ransomware attack happen, it is important that you are prepared and know what to do. This will stop you panicking in the moment and will save time in finding a solution.
By following the above steps you should be able to recognize a ransomware attack and hopefully minimize the damage should one occur.