Ransomware is affecting small organizations worldwide. It is believed that ransomware started in Russia in 2005-2006. By 2012, this malware hit the US as well as Canada and is now becoming more rapid and widespread targeting organizations of all sizes, concentrating on small business. The reason these cybercriminals are focusing on small businesses is because they are not as savvy when it comes to security and data backup, often times going without protection and backup solutions. These criminals know your business needs your data and operations up and running so you are more likely to pay the ransom without hesitation.
Ransomware holds your computer “hostage” until you pay the ransom to the malware operators. This software takes over when you click on an infected email, website, attachment or advertisement. Once your computer is infected, ransomware is able to encrypt files on the hard drive and restrict access to your computer until you pay the piper. Most hackers claim they are from local law enforcement agencies demanding the money by displaying a message on your screen trying to make you think you have done something illegal. In most cases, once you have paid the ransom, you are able to decrypt your files and run your computer back to normal.
Ransomware creators have gained millions of dollars from users. These attacks continue to severely impact and plague business networks.
- Make sure you have a plan in the event of an attack.
- Always use antivirus software and a firewall. Malware will always find a way in if there is no security to block it.
- Always back up your data regularly so you don’t have to be in a situation of paying ransom or end up losing everything.