March 09, 2017 14:46
Published: October 17, 2016 12:58
Hello everyone! Welcome to the first installment of our three-part series dealing with our dear, beloved (*cough*) friend, ransomware. We’re so glad that you could make it.
First, a quick overview of where we left off: Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) that is transferred onto a computer via a corrupted attachment in an email or something similar in nature. Once it’s in the system, it writes itself onto all the files on that computer, and then “locks down” that computer, making it inoperable to its user. It usually does this on behalf of some fictitious law enforcement agency, sometimes even higher.
It demands payment, or “ransom” in order to regain control of the system, in the form of Bitcoin, to preserve the anonymity of the jack-hole that’s messing up your computer. Once the “ransom” is paid, the computer is unlocked, and the user then has the ability to use the machine again.
And make no mistake. People are paying. In droves. So, all caught up? Good.
You might wonder, how does one prevent this from happening? After all, prevention is the first step to safety, right?
Indeed, and here’s our take on some of the best ways you can protect yourself from getting hit with this particular form of nastiness.
In this modern business world, this should be sort of a no-brainer, but it’s still pretty amazing how many smaller companies out there aren’t backing things up on a regular basis. Like, daily. There are, after all, so many options! From Google Drive to DropBox to Carbonite, and so many more, the number of places that you can safely backup all your company data are wide-ranging and easily accessible. Making this process happen every single day, without exception, is one way to take the power out of a ransomware criminal’s hands.
Since almost the beginning of the internet, there have been criminals looking to exploit the systems for personal or monetary gain. In response to this, many organizations now offer training, some of it free of charge, on ways that you and your employees can help to bolster the existing security measures in your company to prevent future would-be attackers from getting in and corrupting your computers in the first place.
This is a relatively new term in the security sector, but it’s one that’s gaining a good bit of traction. Basically, this type of antivirus software only allows programs that have already been designated as safe, or programs that are “whitelisted”, to actually run. In effect, this protects the computer by allowing no other programs to execute, which means that you can click on that corrupted attachment all day there Bucky, and it’s not gonna let it open, since it's not on the whitelist. We know, we know; we wanted to be a ten million dollar winner, too.
Stay tuned for more. Next we’ll be exploring a little of what to do if you actually get hit with ransomware on your network!