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By now you have probably heard of Ransomware. You might have seen it on your favorite TV show, or the news, you might have gotten emails or seen ads on how to defend yourself on Ransomware, all of which has not educated you well or made you lose interest fast.
So how prevalent is Ransomware in the mainstream?
In talking with a few bankers who have had to deal with this issues with their clients. I have found it is a whole lot more prolific then some would make you believe. One small community bank officer that I spoke to told me that she alone in the past year have had over 10 clients infected with Ransomware.
So what is Ransomware?
There are three main types of ransomware, ranging in severity from mildly annoying to World Trade Center on 9/11. They are as follows:
Unlike the name Scareware, is not that scary. It can be malicious computer programs designed to trick a user into buying and downloading unnecessary and potentially dangerous software, such as fake antivirus protection. It can also includes rogue security software and tech support scams. So, you might receive a pop-up message claiming that malware was discovered and the only way to get rid of it is to pay up. If you do nothing, you’ll likely continue to be bombarded with pop-ups, but your files are essentially safe.
A legitimate cybersecurity software program would not solicit customers. Common sense would tell you that if you don’t already have this company’s software on your computer, then they would not be monitoring you for ransomware. If you do have security software, you wouldn’t need to pay to have the infection removed.
Screen Lockers are exactly how they sound. This would be the medium alert in ransomeware. When lock-screen ransomware gets on your computer, it means you’re frozen out of your PC entirely. Upon starting up your computer, a full-size window will appear, often accompanied by an official-looking FBI or US Department of Justice seal saying illegal activity has been detected on your computer and you must pay a fine. However, the FBI would not freeze you out of your computer or demand payment for illegal activity. If they suspected you of piracy, child pornography, or other cybercrimes, they would go through the appropriate legal channels.
This is really bad stuff. This will encrypt your files and alter them so your systems won’t work and they demand payment in order to decrypt and redeliver. The reason why this type of ransomware is so dangerous is because once cybercriminals get ahold of your files, no security software or system restore can return them to you. Unless you pay the ransom—for the most part, they’re gone. And even if you do pay up, there’s no guarantee the cybercriminals will give you those files back.Even if you try and restore from backup it is possible the ransomware files are on your system and not active.
How Can I Protect Myself from Ransomware?
What can I do?
- Make sure you have a good backup system in place. Regular backups are so important to the health of your company.
- Educate your company not to open emails that they are not familiar with, especially emails will attachments. Anti-phising software will help detect these bad emails.
- Use a good Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware softwares.
- Have a good Security / Cloud Consultant you can call if you have been infected.
JAYCO Cloud Computing Solutions is a consulting firm in Central Florida. With our wide range of clients and experiences we have helped companies streamline their IT processes and have help companies realize a better return on their IT Investments and we could love to start a conversation on how we can help you.