When it comes to ransomware, this cyberattack scheme isn’t new, but it has become increasingly common over the past several years. Many of the viruses lurking out there steal data to be used for nefarious purposes, with the goal having long been to access important financial and personal data that can be sold off. Not ransomware. Ransomware generally does not access your data to sell off to criminals. Instead, the virus kidnaps your data until you pay the ransom.
Understanding How Ransomware is Different
Going back to other forms of cyber-attacks: they focus on credit card numbers that can be sold and used to buy things or social security numbers that can be sold to be used to create fake identities. In the case of many viruses, victims may never even be aware their data has been accessed. Typical malware and spyware tries to go undetected.
How Ransomware Works
Ransomware stops you from using your PC, files, or programs. It holds your data, software, or entire PC hostage until you pay a ransom to get it back. When an attack occurs, you suddenly have no access to a computer – a screen appears announcing your files are encrypted and that you need to pay (usually in bitcoins) to regain access. In some cases, there may be a nerve-wracking clock ticking down to the deadline for the ransom payment. Some versions are so sophisticated they even have mini call centers to handle your payments and questions.
What Happens After a Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware stands out from most viruses in that you really have no option once an attack has been made. You either pay up or lose the data.
Have a Data Backup?
The only sure answer is a safe, clean backup. In that case, you are stuck with the nuisance of restoring your data with the backup, but you aren’t out any money. However, this comes with a caveat: your backups have to be clean. The problem with ransomware viruses is that just making backups may not be sufficient to protect your data, as the backups can be infected also.
Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?
The only answer is to be aware that these viruses are out there and that you have to make careful, specific plans to protect your data. It is essential that your backup and disaster recovery plans are designed with a ransomware attack in mind. When it comes to making data security and disaster recovery plans, you should consider bringing in experts with a strong background in this field. Lost data is not something any contact center can easily recover from.
Further Reading on Ransomware
Want to learn more? Check out our other blog articles on ransomware, from how to deal with it to how Triton Technologies protects against it.
- Three Responses After a Ransomware Attack
- Ransomware and Disaster Recovery Plans
- Hotels are Now The Hottest Ransomware Target
- Ransomware Insurance is Fueling Ransomware
Want to learn more about proactive protection and talk about your practice’s cybersecurity? Contact us today. We don’t just protect against ransomware but provide a full suite of cybersecurity and IT support for all your projects and IT infrastructure.