WHAT IS RANSOMWARE AND WHY IT IS SO DANGEROUS
Jacksonville Ransomware is just how it sounds. It’s a form of malware attack used to extort money from victims. It’s a fairly new type of cyber attack but has already cost billions in damages to small businesses and large corporations across the globe, and continues to become more sophisticated and dangerous. Ransomware is usually perpetrated by individual hackers, but hostile governments such as North Korea and Russia use them as well.
In 2018, the US Department of Justice accused the North Korean government of being behind the devastating WannaCry 2.0 attack in 2017. The ransomware locked more than 300,000 PCs in 150 countries around the world. In order to unlock their computers, victims were demanded to pay a ransom, costing hundreds of millions in damages. The ransomware also compromised many computer systems in hospitals, creating chaos for patients and their insurance providers.
Now that you know how dangerous ransomware can be, it’s important to know how to protect your Jacksonville business.
1. KEEP YOUR SOFTWARE AND SYSTEMS UPDATED
It’s always important to continually update any anti-malware software you may be using. But small businesses often forget to keep their programs and operating systems updated as well. You’ll often see that part of an update are bug fixes and security updates. These patches fix weaknesses that hackers can easily exploit.
2. BACK UP YOUR DATA
Cyber criminals will often use ransomware to block access to a business’ data. By making sure you back up important data on a cloud service or on external servers, hackers will have no leverage, thus nullifying their ransom demands.
3. SCAN AND FILTER OFFICE EMAILS
Employees often unwittingly download ransomware from phishing emails. To help prevent this, use content scanning and filtering on your internal email servers. This will help to block corrupt attachments and links from getting to your employees and your Jacksonville business.
4. KEEP PRIVATE INFORMATION PRIVATE
Do no provide personal information when answering unsolicited communications, whether via email, phone call, text or instant message. Hackers like to try to trick businesses with phishing emails and other forms of communications by pretending to be everything from national banks to healthcare providers.
5. SECURE YOUR NETWORKS
Hackers are looking for the biggest payday, which means they’ll more likely want to gain access to your networks, and not a single computer, before they demand a ransom. By segmenting your networks and limiting the number of administrator accounts, your networks will be less vulnerable.
6. DO NOT PAY THE RANSOM
Ransomware is very scary and cyber criminals use this fear to get their victims to meet their demands. But if you’re a victim of a ransomware attack, it’s best not to pay the ransom. Paying only encourages hackers and provides the funds they need to keep attacking and keep evolving.
The best way to stop ransomware is to protect yourself and be smart. With the right IT company, you can protect your Jacksonville business from these dangerous threats. Workforce IT of Jacksonville has the experience and expertise to provide the office IT support and protection you need. 904.638.8406.