Ransomware is a big criminal business that targets large and small companies alike. Someone steals your data and holds it ransom until you pay to get it back. Ransomware attacks can come in the most innocent-seeming ways, so it benefits your company to be vigilant in protecting itself from this kind of cyber attack.
Imagine you’re a medium-sized company that sells industrial supplies in a time before digital files. You would have paperwork for every transaction: account applications, purchasing agreements, payroll accounting, and order forms. Now imagine someone breaks into your place of business and steals all of it while demanding payment for its safe return. Every aspect of your business would freeze and you’d have unhappy customers and employees until you got your paperwork back.
1. Ransomware Attacks Your Company’s Infrastructure
Now, fast-forward to the digital age and you can see why digital thievery is equally as damaging to how a company functions everyday. This kind of infiltration can happen when a person opens an email with a damaging file or downloads something with hidden ransomware. Because most business computers are networked, the file will quickly access the desktop’s files and any data connected to it. The data gets encrypted so it’s inaccessible until you pay a ransom. Because it’s a criminal enterprise, they will usually demand the payment in some kind of untraceable funds, like Bitcoin or gift cards.
2. Nobody Is Immune
It doesn’t matter if your company is a small family-run business or a municipality like the city of Baltimore. No one is immune to the effects of ransomware. Cloning of email accounts means your employees might think they’re opening an email from a family member or business associate. Sometimes the emails come framed as an overdue invoice, striking a moment of panic in the person responsible for paying the bills. As soon as they click on the file, the attack begins taking control of your digital data.
3. Prevention Comes From Best Practices
The world of cybercrime can make business owners feel deeply threatened and insecure. Even if you spent good money in the past on IT infrastructure and firewalls, it’s important to keep up with the pace of the digital age. Though your company’s on-site servers and backups might have been reasonably secure at some point, the cyber attackers are always looking for ways to exploit your sense of security.
Your first line of attack is consistently backing up your data off-site, likely in the cloud with a trustworthy provider. If you can bring your data back without having to pay the ransom, you’re already ahead of the game. Be sure your employees are well-versed on the threat via emails and suspicious downloads. Instruct them to never open a file with an .exe extension and to be wary and triple-check the sender, even when the email seems legitimate at first glance.
And lastly, consider investing in some upgraded security software that adds a targeted fight to your daily operations. With seamless background monitoring and aggressive checks, modern software can give you considerable peace of mind.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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