What is ransomware?
Ransomware costs are projected to hit a record of $20 billion in 2021 making it a very prominent threat to your security. Ransomware is when cyber criminals take hold of your system or data for the purpose of extorting your business for money. Typically a hacker will lock a business out of viewing their data or accessing their system entirely by requiring an access key that can only be obtained by paying the hacker a price. Typically this is through bitcoin, an anonymous cryptocurrency that is virtually untraceable. Rising ransomware can be extremely detrimental to your business which is why you need to learn more about it.
Rising Ransomware in action
For hackers, ransomware can be an extremely lucrative crime which is why often times businesses rather than individuals are the ones targeted. Back in early February Central Piedmont Community College, a large community college located in Charlotte North Carolina, suffered a large ransomware attack that temporarily crippled the school as a whole. Discovered as early as February 10th the school was hit with a ransomware attack that forcefully shut down many of the applications used by students including: email, phone lines, and the learning application known as “Blackboard”. For roughly three weeks students were left to wonder what the rest of the semester would look like now that the university had lost such important course information like grades or credit hours. The college worked hard to restore the systems needed to resume the semester however at the end of the day many students grades were lost an all classes has to make the move to the entirely new system “Brightspace”. Imagine what an attack like this could do to your business. You would not only pay financially, but in extensive downtime as well.
With a large percentage of the world having to resort to remote work or school the threat of ransomware is ever more important. Criminals are aware that you are at home away from a possible VPN or secure network. Hackers are even as shameless as using COVID as a selling point in social engineering schemes. In 2021 alone, Ransomware costs are projected to hit a record of $20 billion! This makes Ransomware a top concern for businesses everywhere. Additionally, hackers are currently attacking networks with an alarming rate of 1 attack every 39 seconds. This shows that Ransomware will always be a present threat that businesses need to be able to handle as it continues to rise.
What Should You Do?
Fighting the rising Ransomware can be done in a few simple and practical ways.
- Practice good password hygiene: Making sure your passwords are unique and hard to crack is an important step in making sure your systems or networks won’t be compromised.
- Using Two-factor authentication: Using TFA on all of your accounts is a great way of making sure that even if you passwords are compromised you have an extra layer of defense.
- Report any suspicious emails are messages: Making sure you aren’t a victim of social engineering can be very simple. Make sure that you are wary of any suspicious emails or messages that could be a potential phishing scam by reading carefully and reporting any shady activity.
Corporate Information Technologies provides small to mid-market organizations with expert I.T. services including compliance assessment, cybersecurity penetration tests, and comprehensive business continuity planning services. Corporate Information Technologies can help organizations, quantify, create, refine, and mitigate the risks presented by business threatening disasters in whatever form they may be disguised.
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