MERIT Solutions Blog

Ransomware is Still a Major Threat

Ransomware is Still a Major Threat

Ransomware is the scariest type of malware out there. It can have a myriad of negative effects on a business, yet it seems to still be on the fringe of the mainstream. Today, we thought we would give somewhat of a refresher course on ransomware. 

What is Ransomware?

Simply put, ransomware is malware that holds either files or entire drives ransom, until the perpetrator of the attack is paid via cryptocurrency. If the scammer isn’t paid in the time outlined, the data/drives are deleted, and if not properly backed up, lost forever. You can see how this can be a major problem for any business unfortunate enough to be victimized by ransomware. 

Ransomware has been around for quite a while, but over the past few years, with the availability of an alternate source of payment (cryptocurrency), ransomware attacks have been commonplace. As media attention surrounding these attacks has grown, businesses have started being more vigilant.

How Businesses Ward Off Ransomware

It’s not just the one thing that can keep ransomware from being a problem for your business, but there are a few actions that need to be taken to help avoid exposure to these nefarious strains of code. Let’s take a look at a few now:

  1. Have a strategy for emails - Most ransomware attacks are sent through phishing emails. Make sure that you--and your staff--understands the best practices of dealing with emails and how to spot fraudulent messages. 
  2. Have a backup strategy - Ransomware is a fabulous example of why organizations need to have offsite data backup in place. If your systems are hit by ransomware, having offsite backup in place will allow you to rest assured that your data remains unencrypted and available for use. 
  3. Patch your security tools - One major problem with many organizations’ cybersecurity platforms is that the tools they rely on for network and data security aren’t always updated regularly. Keeping your antivirus and firewalls updated is a good practice regardless of the presence of ransomware. 
  4. Never pay - There have been high-profile ransomware attacks where the victims pay the ransom. There is no guarantee that these scammers will unencrypt the files/drives or won’t leave other malware behind after they successfully extort you. 

MERIT Solutions is the trusted name in Hampton Roads when it comes to helping businesses utilize IT the right way. Our expert technicians can help you outfit your IT infrastructure with the tools you need to keep your network up, running, and free from downtime-causing malware. Call us today at (757) 420-5150 to learn more. 

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