What Is Ransomware? And Other Questions Answered

Accessing the net presents various threats for the user that can lead to costly damages if they are not careful.

In fact, ransomware is the biggest cyber threat today, and reports show that it is quickly becoming more widespread due to the easy availability of malware kits that no longer require cybercriminals to be tech-savvy so that even novices can develop their own ransomware variants using drag and drop platforms.

Ransomware markets are also popping up online, where those looking to commit this type of crime can simply purchase malware programs from authors in exchange for a portion of the ransom.

Furthermore, since traditional antivirus software is not yet equipped to recognize these types of threats since they are fairly new, it also presents another easy way for would-be hackers to access your system.

And, when the payment is made, it is typically demanded in cryptocurrency, which means there is no paper trail, so it is harder for the criminals to be tracked.

What is Ransomware? How Does it Work?

Ransomware is generally designed to target database file servers and infect an entire network, which can completely shut down an organization. The attack works by encrypting a company or user’s critical data and preventing them from accessing the database, files, or applications unless they pay a ransom.

Many versions of ransomware are out there, and they are usually distributed via email scams or through targeted attacks. Once the malware is established on the network or system, it remains there until the transaction is complete.

The ransom is usually demanded to be paid within 24 to 48 hours, after which time the attacker will provide the user with a private key to decrypt the files. If the victim doesn’t have saved copies of the data, they will be forced to pay the ransom to recover the files, or they will be lost forever.

Reports show that ransomware results in billions of dollars in payments per year, making it more important than ever for businesses and governmental organizations to seek the best ransomware protection from a trusted provider, such as Zscaler.

How to Protect Against Ransomware

There are a few things an organization can do to help make themselves less vulnerable to ransomware attacks, including practicing safe web surfing and app downloads. All members of the organization should also undergo regular security awareness training, so they can avoid socially engineered attacks, such as phishing.

You should also back up your data, such as in the Cloud, to ensure you always have copies of your files and can simply reinstall them on your device in the event of an attack. Updating your device’s software often is also important to help protect against malware because the updates often contain patches to improve the system in each download.

In the meantime, should you become a victim of a ransomware attack, some tech companies have some decryption tools available to help. You should consider investing in a comprehensive ransomware protection product that protects you on all levels for greater confidence.