2016: The Year of Ransomware

The amount of people on the internet has been steadily increasing over the years, which means there is more personal data and information on the internet than ever before. Since the start of 2014, ransomware has steadily been increasing and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Huge events (like the election) seem to be a huge lure for cybercriminal activities. The only variable for these ransomware activities seems to still be in the beginning stage of the process and does not encrypt files, yet. Furthermore, this ransomware looks for very specific files that have a unique extension name, but they’re able to rename the file and prevent access to it from the original file owner.

Ransomware attacks never seem to get picked up by the media because they don’t want to spread fear throughout the public. Just last week, one of the biggest cloud computing companies in the U.S. was victim of cybercriminal activities. The hackers locked all files on the cloud and demanded a large sum of 30+ bitcoins in order to unlock the files. Nobody seemed to be talking about this even though there was a huge breach of privacy as these files could have been released to the public which contained social security numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, private emails, passwords, and more.

2016 is already turning out to be the year of ransomware, locking up computers, networks, or files until a ransom is paid by the victim of the cyber attack. Are you concerned about what to do if this happens? Are you curious about ways to prevent this from happening to you? Here are some tips to protect yourself from being a victim of a ransomware attack.

Manage backups appropriately

Getting rid of the ransomware is always the most difficult part. If you can’t get rid of the ransomware, then you will be forced to pay the ransom that the cybercriminals are asking for. The easiest way to get around this is by having a safe backup of your network and files. This way you can remove everything (including the ransomware) and then upload your backup and things will go back to running smoothly.

Make sure your software is all up to date

Cybercriminals look for loopholes in your software, usually when new updates roll out. New updates roll out with softwares when they see their could be a breach of security, so if you don’t update your software you could be prone to being a victim of a ransomware attack.

Remove remote desktop access

Some companies or employees like to use Window’s native “remote desktop access” feature to access their files and programs on the go or at home. When you enable this feature, you are at risk for a ransomware attack because you’re leaving your network and servers open to be accessed by cybercriminals.

If you’re looking for help for Minneapolis IT Services┬áto prevent you from becoming the victim of the next ransomware attack, check back later to read more tips on protecting your network and files.