Not every entrepreneur is aware of his responsibility when it comes to data security. We receive news in media reporting about ransomware attacks every day.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is malware that blocks your computer or encrypts data so you can no longer access your data. As soon as the malware is active, the perpetrators report and make ransom demands. Experts sometimes speak of an encryption trojan because data is no longer readable by users. The perpetrators blackmail the victims by making it clear that the blocked data will not released until a ransom payment has been made. These cybercriminals play with people’s fear and enrich themselves at peoples expense.
Different variants of ransomware.
There are two different variants of ransomware.
- Screenlocker – These lock the screen or the whole PC.
- File encrypters encrypt the data on the computer and take data (text files, important folders,…) into hostage.
In the meantime, attacks with screenlocker have become rare. Instead, encryption programs are increasingly used, which completely encrypt the data.
How can I capture possible ransomware?
The spread hardly differs from other malware. This software often gets on your computer via manipulated websites, spam emails or social networks. In addition, faked e-mails are sent with alleged reminders, invoices, etc., which are not recognized as fake by many users in time and are therefore opened. Behind this, is a file that does not contain any information but a malicious code that spreads to their computers.
How do you know you are affected by a ransomware attack?
Normally, the screen blocks or an extortion letter appears that can not be closed. However, there are also variants that remain undetected over a long period of time and spread during this time. The effects will then occur later and users can no longer remember when and where they captured the trojan.
How can you protect yourself from ransomware?
- Updates: Update your operating system continuously. Also, make sure that any software that has been installed is updated as well.
- Browser: Update your browser and enable browser protection, which protects you from infected scripts and possible downloads of malicious files.
- Protection measures: Use a firewall such as Sophos to detect and block malware. Endpoint Protection also detects malware such as Trojans and completely isolates it.
- Training: Remember to train your employees to respond correctly and know what needs to be considered. Especially in today’s world with increased HomeOffice work, you need to make sure that employees react properly. Especially since private computers are unlikely to have implemented the same security standards as your company devices. These can be missing updates, for example, or bypassed security mechanisms, because they are annoying or make the notebook slower, etc.
- User account: Make sure that the admin account is truly reserved for IT technicians. User accounts have fewer rights. In the event of a ransomware attack, the malware will not be able to penetrate so deep into the system and, ideally, will not cause any damage at all.
- Backup and risk analysis: Perform regular backups of your data so you can access it in the event of a disaster. Perform a risk assessment by asking yourself the following 4 questions:
1. If there is a cyber attack, what impact does it have on my business model?
2. How long can the company survive if suddenly everything breaks?
3. What costs will incur if the company is standing still?
4. Are there backups that can be used in a new environment to reinstate data?
Schindler IT-Solutions stands for data security and has been committed to this for more than 20 years. With security solutions to executive and employee training , to GDPR and the in-house developed easyGDPR software, the topic of data security is covered. Since 2020, the know-how is also offered to the austrian cybersecurity hotline of the WKO.