4 Things You Need To Know About Ransomware

Ransomware is essentially a type of malware that poses to use a victim’s data against them. The data can either be used to blackmail them with data exposure for a ransom, or to lock them out of their servers unless a ransom is initiated. A new form of ransomware includes cryptoviral extortion, which essentially involves encrypting the user’s files and making it irreversibly inaccessible, and then demanding a ransom in order to decrypt those files. A planned cryptoviral extortion typically demands ransom in cryptocurrencies that are difficult to trace and hence catching the perpetrators becomes even more difficult. In order to protect yourself and you company from instances of ransomware, listed below are four things you should know about ransomware:

  1. Ransomware is very hard to detect

While most businesses have systems in place to detect ransomware and related threats, hackers are constantly developing backdoors and seemingly legitimate tools to infiltrate systems apparently using Javascript and Powershell. A normal detection system typically overlooks such red flags and hence ransomware gets introduced to your systems. Hence, companies need to have a constant monitoring software that attempts to see through such legitimate tools as well and reinforce protection.

  1. Ransomware attacks can be targeted

Most hackers typically target systems within your organization that are most likely to surpass a security check, have large-scale system access, or are simply prone to a cyberattack. In addition to targeting a system, hackers also look for paths with least amount of resistance to your network as opposed to previously planned multiple entry targets. In order to save their company accordingly, companies should spend time training their employees about the possible instances of systems being compromised. In addition to that, they should also use multiple-factor authentication on all systems to make sure only the right people have access to their systems, respectively.

  1. Ransomware attacks are related to IoT

The internet of things poses a rise in ransomware attacks as devices are endpoints and touchpoints to networks and are usually free from any security checks. When multiple devices connect to a network, they can be used to communicate with the network and with a ransomware threat simultaneously to be used as an entry point. If multiple devices connect to your office’s network, it should be ensured that someone is monitoring traffic patterns of these devices to ensure you catch a probable attack at the entry point itself. By doing so, not only would you be saving the device but also the overall company network.

  1. Ransomware exists in multiple forms

There are essentially four types of ransomware which include locker ransomware, scareware,  crypto ransomware and leakware. Locker ransomware refers to when hackers restrict usage of a computer by not allowing the user to login to their system and ask for a ransom to allow login rights. Scareware refers to when hackers pose their attacks as system cleaners or anti-malware software and get users to pay a ransom. Crypto ransomware refers to when hackers encrypt users’ files and demand a ransom to decrypt them. Leakware refers to when hackers threaten victims with their files being uploaded online or exposed if a ransom is not paid. Companies need to be prepared and have response procedures ready in case they ever incur a cyber attack on their systems. 

While cyberattacks may seem like something aloof to small companies, they are actually much more popular than one can imagine. A company’s reputation, private data and credentials are on the stake in case of a ransom attack and hence companies should take appropriate measures to protect themselves in case they ever fall victim to a cyberattack. They should also train their employees and staff to avoid such attacks.

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