What Is Ransomware And How To Avoid It

In today’s digital age, your computer is open to various threats and attacks that seem to take control over sensitive information. One of such attacks is ransomware. Simply put, ransomware is a cyberattack designed to lock you out of your computer or steal sensitive information. 

The intruder proceeds to ask for a sum of money (ransom) to give you back control over your data, in effect, holding you as a digital hostage. Statistics show that about 304 million ransomware attacks happened globally in 2020, increasing 62% from the previous year. Ransomware targets individuals and all business sizes. Therefore, ransomware protection and prevention are vital.

There are many ways individuals or businesses can build a sound defense system against ransomware attacks. These include:

Avoiding Unsafe Links

You may have heard this several times, but it is important to reemphasize that you should avoid opening any unsafe links. Many of these links have ransomware embedded in them. Therefore, be sure to avoid or be skeptical about unsafe links.  

Build Email and Endpoint Protection

Since you will always click and open links, it is essential to scan every email for any malware and keep your firewalls and endpoint security updated with the most recent malware signature. You can provide a VPN for outside network users and notify them of emails outside the network.

Keep Personal Information Private

We are genetically inclined to trust others. Unfortunately, this is how cyber attackers make you think it’s your idea to make that call or disclose sensitive data such as passwords or credit card details. This is why you need to follow protocols and be skeptical when people ask for sensitive information. It is common to see companies keeping sensitive data in file names, credit cards, social security, and other information that identify with employees or clients. It is vital to take preventative measures to stop such data from falling into the wrong hands.

Keep Your Operating System and Programs Updated

It is vital to stay updated with the latest operating system and all program software. This is particularly important for business organizations. Studies have shown that businesses that neglect this sector are vulnerable to ransomware attacks, such as Ryuk in 2019 and 2020 and SamSam in 2018.

Always Keep Backups

Regularly keeping data backup is suitable for both personal and enterprise-level protection. Quickly reimaging your disk is the fastest and most practical way to stop a ransomware attack. You may likewise switch to a cloud storage technology which is more difficult to be exploited. Cloud storage can return you an unencrypted data version if your files are encrypted by ransomware.

A careful plan and robust system security software are excellent for fighting ransomware applicable to other malware forms. While data backups are vital for ransomware recovery, having proper IT Support is critical for securing your system. Even in the worst case, they can help you remove any malicious code or software.  

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