What are ransomware attacks? Here is what you need to know about them

The expanding internet ecosystem has facilitated a mushroom-like growth of various kinds of cyberattacks aimed at businesses or individuals. Many experts are of the opinion that exponential growth in cyberattacks has been observed in recent years. As technology improved in an array of aspects so did these technological breaches. One of the nastiest of their kind is the ‘ransomware’ which has troubled businesses — small and big, as well as individuals.

The principal thing that one has to think about these cyberthreats ought to be the idea of their existence and distinguishing between the nature of these attacks. Ransomware is basically a sort of malicious software, or malware, that actively blocks the owner or organization from accessing their own devices, systems, or records until a ransom is paid by them. Even after paying the ransom, there is no certainty that accesses to the infected system will be restored by the attacker. Ransomware can be treated as an unlawful, money-making scheme that can be introduced through tricky connections in an email, text, site, or via clickbait.

These are three primary and better-known ways in which ransomware blocks users from accessing their system:

  • Crypto-ransomware: encrypts files on the infected system
  • Wiper ransomware: threatens to erase files
  • Block ransomware: blocking system access completely for the victim or victims.

Presumably, the very first incident of ransomware was recorded in 1989; it was aimed at the healthcare industry. However, with the emergence of cryptocurrencies, ransomware has become more sophisticated as it has gotten simpler for cybercriminals to extort money.

Here’s how phishing is used in ransomware

Phishing is the oldest trick in the book when it comes to sharing ransomware. Phishing is a strategy that includes sending a clueless person an email or other digitized messages that try to fool the victim into conceding access by acting like a company that can be trusted.

Phishing emails that are used for delivering ransomware consist of malicious links that infect your PC with the ransomware when opened. When the ransomware gains access to your device it encrypts your data and turns off the system. The only way to recover access is to use a digital key, which is held by the attacker.

Here are some ways in which ransomware is delivered:

  • Via malicious links and/or attachments in an email or web message.
  • Intruded or compromised through ill-secured services and ports like Phobos ransomware variant.
  • Dropped in by other types of malware infections like TrickBot infection.
  • Various types of ransomware that exploit network vulnerabilities like the WannaCry ransomware.

Here is how you can become secured against ransomware:

Protection against ransomware requires a comprehensive, strong-actioned approach that brings your cybersecurity together. A holistic approach to go about it would be installing trusted ransomware protection that has unbeatable threat detection. While ransomware infections are not altogether preventable because of the viability of sophisticated phishing methods, the danger can be limited by executing cybersecurity policies and improving cybersecurity awareness and practices.

ransomware phishing protect

In the end, it is up to us all to help avoid ransomware from infecting our systems. Many protection methods have been widely applauded for their effectiveness to avoid threats and protect online identity. One such method is a good VPN service for your devices that keeps your online identity and activities safe from hackers and other cybercriminals. In addition to that, to improve the probability of avoiding ransomware infections, organizations should actualize a cybersecurity user awareness and training program. Such an educative program can provide employees at all levels with the right digital knowledge they need to avert such attacks.

However, on the off chance that your company gets tainted with a ransomware attack, there are a few things you can do to react. The first step should be to consult a cybersecurity expert and discuss what needs to be done before you pay the ransom. The best preventive technique is to backup all your company data. This will help relieve some part of the danger in case of a data breach, as you will not have to compromise on the entire data.

Conclusion

Cybersecurity threats in today’s connected world have become a grave problem; ransomware is one such cyberattack that is a costly problem every organization avoids. Apart from the financial losses the grave embarrassment that comes with not unknown in the industry. The results of ransomware assaults are way more destructive when they attack emergency services or industry giants. Thus, equipping your organization well before such attacks occur and having the right security measure in place can save your firm’s name from shame.

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