Understanding Ransomware

Ransomware is defined as a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system and its contents, until a ransom is paid. Incursions most commonly occur when visiting an infected website or falling victim to a phishing scam, and while the bad guys may not be sailing galleons and stealing doubloons, they are most definitely pirates.

In 2018, ransomware losses were expected to total over $8 billion. While the average ransom itself is in the thousands, it’s the cost of cleaning up the mess that can cripple a business.  The City of Baltimore recently totaled losses of over $18 million, while the City of Atlanta topped $17 million.  Paying the ransom might sound like a better option (Atlanta’s was ‘only’ $52,000), but the FBI recommends never paying the ransom.  Why? Because it doesn’t guarantee regaining access to your data or network, and it only helps to validate the criminals behind these scams.

How to Avoid Ransomware

Your best bet is to take the proper precautions.  As with all network security, this is a multi-layered effort, including;

With properly backed up files, you’ll never have to pay a ransom.  It’s as simple as recovering your data to a point prior to the infection, and you’re back in business.  If you have the proper security measures in place, there’s a good chance you won’t even be effected by ransomware.

Can your business recover from a dead standstill measuring days, if not weeks? Even if data is recoverable, the task of removing the virus from your network can be challenging. Ashton can help you avoid the hassle of ransomware, before it strikes. Or, if you’ve already fallen victim, Ashton can help to remediate the problem and protect you so it won’t happen again. To stop ransomware before it starts, give us a call at 216 397-4080.

To learn more about ransomware and how to defend yourself, you can download a Sophos whitepaper.

Avoid Ransomware!