Australian businesses have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to ransomware attacks. While most people are familiar with cyber attacks, few really understand the impact a cyber attacks can have on their business.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that uses a powerful encryption program to lock your computer or files. It will then demand that you pay in order to have your data decrypted, that is, holding your files at ransom. Ways you can fall victim to a ransomware attack include: opening links, emails, or files from unknown sources, visiting unknown or suspicious websites, or having poor security on your network or devices.
What Should I do if I’m attacked?
- Disconnect devices – to stop the spread and impact of the malware, immediately disconnect and shut down your devices.
- Seek Professional Help – Ransomware attacks can cause serious damage. It is hard to overcome an attack on your own. Contact the experts at Assett to help you work through a ransomware attack, and get back on your feet.
- In the event of a ransomware attack, it is vital that you do not pay the ransom because it is not guaranteed that you will get your data back, and it encourages the criminals to attack you again in the future.
How does my computer get attacked?
Ransomware is usually transferred via a Trojan horse, or Trojan, which is any malware that misrepresents itself as a useful or harmless download often attached to an email. The Trojan itself does not do anything to infect the system, it simply opens the door so that more insidious malware can get in.
Once the payload is installed it adds a key to the registry to make it run on start-up. Next, the program will contact one of its servers and generate a pair of encryption keys before it gets to work encrypting data. First, it will begin on the local system then move across any other drives in the network that the initial computer can access. From the network drive it spreads to other systems that can access it and so on throughout the entire network.
How can I protect my computer from malware?
There are two layers of defence that all businesses should have. First is a powerful anti-virus software package combined with well-managed IT services capable of detecting the threat. Second is a secure data backup so that even if the worst occurs you will be able to restore your files and never have to pay an extortionate ransom.
Prevent ransomware attacks by regularly backing up your important data, enabling multi factor authentication, and organise an audit of your infrastructure. Contact us at Assett Professional Services to discuss a free review of your infrastructure today.