What Impact Could Ransomware Have on You?

iStock_000008869356XSmallWith stories of massive security breaches and identity theft sweeping the news, it’s more important than ever for your business to protect its data.

This is especially the case when it comes to your network computers being taken over by ransomware.

Here are just a few examples of how ransomware can impact your business:

Ransomware in a Nutshell

In its most basic form, ransomware can limit your access to certain information within your business network. Ransomware is a form of malware, which means you likely won’t know you’re a victim of the intrusion until it’s too late.

Ransomware gets its name due to the fact that most attacks result in the intruder demanding money in return for access to your files and documents. The most sophisticated types of ransomware can encrypt your business’s entire computer system and bring your online operations to a standstill.

Unfortunately, according to leading online security authorities such as Symantec and McAfee, ransomware attacks will continue to rise in the coming years.

That’s why it’s important for your business to stay informed on the topic of ransomware.

Types of Ransomware

The most widely used form of ransomware features false messages that require payment if action isn’t taken.

With this type of ransomware, victims aren’t actually aware their systems are compromised because the ransomware comes in the form of a message from authoritative sources, such as payment for the reactivation of software.

The article “Ransomware: What it is, How it Works, and What to Do if You Are Victimized” mentions the fact that ransomware messages can also impersonate government agencies that seize your system.

Another form of ransomware to be aware of is encrypted file ransomware, such as CryptoLocker malware.

With this type of ransomware, victims are fully aware their systems are compromised and they must make a payment in order to gain access to their files and documents. This type of ransomware also comes with the threat of file destruction if payments aren’t made in a certain amount of time.

What to Do in the Event of Ransomware

There are a number of steps your business can take if you become a victim of ransomware.

For starters, many experts recommend disconnecting from the Internet the moment a ransomware threat or message is detected. Doing so will limit the amount of data that can become compromised.

In addition, it’s also wise to contact your local FBI branch.

Ransomware is a form of extortion, which is something the FBI handles. The FBI will also let you know other steps to take in eliminating the threat.

How to Avoid Ransomware

Avoiding the threat of ransomware altogether is always the best course of action. By using reputable firewall and antivirus software at your business, you can drastically reduce the chances of ransomware threats.

In addition, you should back up your business data to a secondary, non-Internet enabled device regularly.

Likewise, you should also enable popup blockers within your browser, which can help you avoid accidentally clicking on infected ransomware messages.

Don’t become another victim: keep in mind the information above and steer your business clear of ransomware threats.

About the Author: Adam Groff is a freelance writer and creator content. He writes on a variety of topics including online security and business technology.