Ransomware is one of the most profitable cyberattacks at the moment. Ransomware is malware that encrypts files or disables computers for money (a ransom) to release or unlock. The threat ransomware poses to businesses is not only of data exposure but also of disrupted operations. A ransomware attack can have devastating consequences, including:
Business Loss: If the ransomware encrypts business-critical files (which it probably will), the business might have to shut down for days or weeks while attempting to recover the data. A ransomware attack can therefore lead to lost revenue and customer trust.
Ransom Payment: Global regulatory agencies discourage organizations from paying a ransom, but many businesses go down that road when they realize they have no other option. Enterprises can lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom without knowing if the attackers will unlock the data. The cost of a ransomware attack can vary depending on the type of attack, the amount of data encrypted, and the business.
Reputation Damage: The reputation of a business can be seriously damaged if news of the attack gets out – which it probably will. Existing customers’ data and confidential information could leak, making it difficult to retain existing clients and customers and discouraging others from doing future business or partnering.
Free Secure Remote Access Guide
Computers on networks can spread Ransomware to other computers or storage devices. Ransomware primarily targets corporate, enterprise, and government entities, but individuals are also at risk. Many users innocently become victims without knowing — until it is too late. Some of the ways to get infected by Ransomware include:
- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
- Opening file attachments you were not expecting or from people you do not know.
- Opening malicious links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts or Instant Messenger or SMS chats.
Standard software hygiene and common sense diligence are no longer sufficient to mitigate or prevent Ransomware attacks. There are more attack vectors than ever, and the software is increasingly sophisticated, with new variants arriving constantly. Nontraditional methods of distributing Ransomware are increasing. But there are so many programs and tools to protect and back up your data that unless you are a subject matter expert, it is challenging to know the ideal solution.