In the digital age, a ransomware attack is one of the biggest threats to businesses. Technology has undoubtedly brought tremendous benefits to the organization – it has increased productivity, improved communication and accelerated the pace of operations. Nevertheless, the expansion of the digital world brings with it new, previously unknown risks. In recent years, ransomware attacks have become more frequent, and the damage they cause is enormous. Therefore, it is worth reading our article. In it we will explain: ransomware attacks – what they are, what their effects are and how to defend against them. We invite you to read more!
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on an infected system and then demands a ransom from the victim to decrypt those files. In other words, a ransomware attack is a cyber hijacking of data.
Ransomware attacks usually begin with a successful phishing attempt or exploitation of security vulnerabilities. Once the ransomware infects a system, it encrypts files and displays a message with a ransom demand, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, which is difficult to track. Cybercriminals can not only prevent access to data, but also threaten to publish the data if a ransom is not paid. Importantly, ransomware attacks can affect anyone – from an individual to small businesses to large corporations.
The direct costs of a ransomware attack include ransomware , which can range from several to even millions of dollars. In addition, companies incur costs associated with restoring systems, operational losses, and the need to provide support to customers and employees. In addition, ransomware attacks can cause significant damage to a company’s reputation. Customers may lose trust in the brand, and the lost information may include sensitive customer data, which can lead to lawsuits and fines.
Cybercriminals often use phishing to deliver ransomware to systems. Other common techniques include attacks on improperly secured networks, as well as exploiting software vulnerabilities.
Most often, a ransomware attack begins with an e-mail message that contains a link to a Web page or a malicious attachment (usually, cybercriminals use Microsoft Office documents). Opening them downloads malware. The ransomware then looks for important files on the local device and encrypts them, usually using Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) with a 128- or 256-bit key or the Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) algorithm.
An example of a ransomware attack is WannaCry, which infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide in 2017. Another well-known case is NotPetya, which also caused huge losses for many large companies in 2017.
Once a ransomware attack is discovered, the first step should be to disconnect the infected system from the network to prevent the ransomware from spreading. Then, it should report the incident to the CSIRT and consult with CSIRT experts. Security professionals to help restore systems and data. However, be sure to keep a file with a note on. encryption and ransomware, as well as examples of encrypted files.
A ransomware attack is a crime and should be reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies, in Poland this is the Police and the ABW. This can be done by phone or online.
You can defend against ransomware attacks by using: antivirus, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, web application penetration testing or wireless network security audits. It is also important to use modern ransomware security tools.
Education of employees, who are often the easiest targets for cybercriminals, is also an important part of security. Employees should be aware of the risks and know how to respond to potential attacks.
Regular data backups are one of the most important components of a ransomware defense strategy. This allows the company to restore its data without paying a ransom.
In conclusion, the threat of ransomware attacks is real and dangerous, but by using appropriate defense strategies, the risk of such an attack can be significantly reduced. It’s also worth using the support of professionals like Elementrica. Among other things, we offer our customers:
With them you will increase security in your company. Contact us today!