There has been a massive growth in criminal activity over the last few years, through malware, hacking and most prevalent of all, ransomware. Research conducted by Computing in late 2016 showed that organisations of all sizes are at risk.
Whilst larger organisations are more likely to have a dedicated security strategy in place, the string of successful attacks on household names in the last eighteen months illustrates that large organisations are far from infallible.
Surprisingly, of the organisations surveyed, over 47% either did not, or did not know if they backed up end user devices – the most common way for ransomware to be deployed.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is malicious software that infects a computer, network or data. Your computer will either be locked or your data encrypted, held hostage, and the only way you can regain access is by paying a 'ransom'.
How Ransomware Spreads
There are four common ways that ransomware can gain access to your computer: spam emails, infected removable drives, being bundled with other software or accessing compromised webpages.
In today's connected age with practices like BYOD, mobile devices, wearables and personal drives, organisations' networks are more vulnerable than ever.
Counting the Cost of a Ransomware Attack
In the event of an attack, it might seem easiest to just pay the ransom. Sadly, this isn't always effective: not all ransomware behaves as expected. The decryption might fail or a second higher ransom fee might be demanded, resulting in your organisation losing more than just the ransom money. Loss of revenue and the reputational damage caused by delayed operations and service delivery, not to mention lost data, could be irreparable.
Don't wait for it to happen
Ransomware Protection is Good
Protecting against ransomware is your first line of defence. Unfortunately, ransomware protection is not always effective. Malware is continually evolving and anti-virus/anti-malware software is struggling to keep up. Once an infection has occurred, removing the ransomware is highly unlikely.
Offsite Backup is a Must
If a ransomware attack cannot be prevented, recovering from it remains the only option. But without an isolated, up-to-date backup of data, your IT systems will have no previous working state to revert to and your organisation will have no choice but to pay up in the hope of access being restored or accept that the data is lost forever. By having up-to-date data backups your recovery will be swift and all traces of the ransomware infection can be erased.
Ransomware got you worried? Get in touch and let us help.