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Ransomware can affect even the most security-conscious companies, therefore it is wise for business owners to take steps to protect your software systems against ransomware attacks.

What is Ransomware?

According to Norton, a cybersecurity firm based in Tempe, AZ, “The idea behind ransomware, a form of malicious software, is simple: Lock and encrypt a victim’s computer or device data, then demand a ransom to restore access.”

Norton goes on to state that “In many cases, the victim must pay the cybercriminal within a set amount of time or risk losing access forever. And since malware attacks are often deployed by cyberthieves, paying the ransom doesn’t ensure access will be restored.”

No one wants to be forced to pay cybercriminals in order to regain access to their business or personal data.

CRN, the media brand of The Channel Company, has reported that the biggest ransomware attacks of 2020 (thus far) have affected municipal governments, IT services, higher education, and manufacturing and financial services.

Why Should You Care About Ransomware?

ZDNet, an online news source about all things IT, states, “To put it simply: ransomware could ruin your business. Being locked out of your own files by malware for even just a day will impact on your revenue. But given that ransomware takes most victims offline for at least a week, or sometimes months, the losses can be significant. Systems go offline for so long not just because ransomware locks the system, but because of all the effort required to clean up and restore the networks.”

Further, ZDNet reports that “Small and medium-sized businesses are a popular target because they tend to have poorer cybersecurity than large organisations. Despite that, many SMEs falsely believe they’re too small to be targeted – but even a ‘smaller’ ransom of a few hundred dollars is still highly profitable for cyber criminals.”

How to Protect Business Against Ransomware

In the summer of 2016 Europol and the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, launched a global initiative “to disrupt cybercriminal businesses with ransomware connections”. The project is called No More Ransom. It is the first public-private partnership dedicated to helping victims of ransomware recover their encrypted data without having to pay the ransom cybercriminals. 

No More Ransom also offers prevention advice to help secure your data from a ransomware attack. These advice tips include, regularly backing up your data, using antivirus software, keeping your software up to date, never opening links in an email from someone you don’t know, and being mindful of the file extensions for files that are sent to you.

By being mindful of the threats to your software and data storage system, and by taking concrete steps to prevent an attack to these systems, you will help to ensure that your data and software are safe and secure.