By southerncal99423783, Oct 12 2016 08:17PM
RANSOMWARE COSTS BUSINESSES BILLIONS
September 10, 2016Benjamin Gayheart
WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
noun: ransomware; noun: ransom-ware
a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.
CryptoLocker, the earliest known version of ransomware, first popped up at the end of 2013.
This new malware took advantage of individuals who unknowingly clicked phishing links and downloaded files from untrusted sites. Since ransomware was new and unknown at the time, the program infected tens of thousands of computer systems. Unfortunately, system resets and new hard drives did nothing to release the grip of CryptoLocker.
Following CryptoLocker, internet users began paying between $25 and $600 to untraceable accounts hoping to rid the ransomware from their systems. And it worked. However, when word got out that payments were effective in releasing the locked files, more people started to pay instead of finding an effective solution. As more people started to pay, the ransomware became even more popular among hackers as a quick way to finance themselves — which is why it’s still a very popular and ongoing attack on businesses and internet users today.
MASSIVE THREAT TO BUSINESSES OF ANY SIZE
According to a new study, only one quarter of ransomware attacks were actually reported in 2015, which amounted to 2,500 received complaints by the FBI. The reported amount of money lost to ransomware that year totaled over $1.6 million. However, the money paid to unlock company computers and files isn’t the only expense incurred by ransomware. On average, an estimated $75 billion annually is lost due to downtime from an attack. Ransomware can also damage a business’ reputation and unfortunately, there is no “money back guarantee” if payment is made and files aren’t unlocked. Ransomware is still one of the biggest threats to businesses of any size.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Even if you follow best practices, such as limiting user permissions, proper group policy setup, and keeping antivirus software and operating systems up to date, that may not be enough. Vulnerabilities are being exposed and exploited in systems faster than they can be patched. The only real protection available is a solid backup and disaster recovery plan, which will ensure that your business has a backup of everything if your system were to be locked down by ransomware.
With Effortless Defense™ you have access to next-gen technology with advanced, proactive and lateral detection to monitor and alert you of known and emerging viruses, including ransomware. New threats that do manage to make it through can be found quickly and stopped, and any data that has been encrypted can be restored with little to no downtime.
A good defense is your best bet. While there’s no surefire way to avoid ransomware attacks entirely, that doesn’t mean you can’t be prepared.