Although ransomware is thought to attack high-profile victims like large businesses, hospitals, and police stations, ransomware has become increasingly prevalent in small businesses and home computers. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts a computer’s files, rendering the files unusable. The ransomware then holds the files “hostage,” forcing the victim to pay a ransom, which is typically in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Litecoin. The average ransomware attack starts at $133,000, however there is no guarantee that the files will actually be recoverable or usable once the ransom is paid. To protect yourself from being a ransomware victim, follow these Do’s and Don’ts when facing a ransomware attack.
Do install strong authentication practices, including multifactor authentication and lengthy passwords. The more complex the authentication process, the less likely a cybercriminal will be able to access data.
Do use security software to help protect your data. Install a trusted security site to mitigate a potential ransomware attack.
Do back up important data on an external hard drive. In the case that ransomware affects your computer, you want to be sure that you can access important data from an external hard drive, as it is not guaranteed that the files will be useable after an attack. Having a backup and restoration procedure in place will mitigate the cost and detriment to a business in the case that a ransomware attack occurs.
Don’t open phishing e-mails. This is one of the most common ways that ransomware enters a computer. If you see an e-mail that looks suspicious, do not click or download any attachments in the e-mail until you have verified the source of the email.
Don’t enter unreliable websites. An infected website can download ransomware on user’s computer within seconds. If possible, limit the use of internet and e-mail for an administrator with highly confidential files.
Don’t pay the ransom. If you encounter a ransomware attack, contact your attorneys or other technology specialist. There is no guarantee that your files will be recoverable. Do not waste company resources to fund a cybercriminal, when there is no certainty that your files are safe or useable.
Ransomware attacks are estimated to cost business $75 billion per year. It is important for all businesses and computer owners to take the necessary steps to protect your valuable data from an attack.
For more information and for best practice procedures to prevent you or your business from falling victim to a ransomware attack contact the attorneys of Rock Fusco & Connelly, LLC.