In 2016, a business was attacked by ransomware every 40 seconds. In 2017, we saw a massive global ransomware attack, known as WannaCry, hit businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. Attacks of ransomware also rose by 350% in the same year, according to Dimension Data. And, Kaspersky said that a single ransomware attack can cost a small to midsize business up to $99,000.
Ransomware is a sinister and costly form of malware that has taken the cybersecurity world and our businesses by storm. Using managed cybersecurity services can help prevent ransomware infection or can help manage a ransomware incident if the worst does happen.
But what is ransomware and how can managed IT services and IT support help to prevent it?
What Happens When Ransomware Hits?
Ransomware encrypts files and documents on your network. Once they are encrypted you will not be able to open them. The malware can encrypt files right across your network, even those in Cloud repositories. If your business becomes infected by ransomware you can expect the following to happen:
- You will likely see a pop-up message on the screen of the infected computer;
- This message will say something like “Oops your files have been encrypted”. The message will tell you to pay an amount of money (usually several hundred, often thousands of dollars) in bitcoin or similar crypto-currency, to receive a code that will decrypt the files; and,
- The message will threaten to delete the encrypted files if you do not pay within a given time span.
Infection by ransomware is costly, not just because of the extortion price, but because of the disruption to your business.
How Do You Become Infected by Ransomware?
Infection usually happens in the following ways:
- Email attachment: Ransomware can be delivered via a phishing email which contains an infected attachment, such as a PDF or Word document. If a user opens the attachment it can automatically run a small software program embedded in the document which then installs the ransomware. A report by Symantec found that 88 percent of malicious emails used attachments to infect computers.
- Email links: Malicious emails sometimes contain links to websites which themselves contain malware. If you click on the link you can be automatically infected by ransomware without even being aware of it.
- Infected websites: If a website is infected with malware, just navigating to it could result in your computer becoming infected with ransomware.
How Can You Prevent Infection by Ransomware?
The world of cybercrime is continuously updating the methods used to attack your organization. Keeping ahead of cybersecurity threats requires vigilance and expertise. Using managed IT services, like Novatech, that offer experts in cybersecurity, gives you the best possible defense against ransomware.
Novatech provides a managed cybersecurity service that protects across all of the target areas used by cybercriminals. Our managed cybersecurity uses a layered-approach to prevent ransomware, which includes:
- Patch management: Ransomware makes use of flaws in software to automatically install via infected email attachments and websites. A managed IT service will ensure your entire IT network is up-to-date and security patches installed promptly.
- Email management: Phishing is the number-one way that ransomware is delivered. Managed IT services provide management of your email system to prevent phishing.
- Anti-malware tools: We protect your company using state-of-the-art products that prevent the installation of malware.
- Backup and disaster recovery: If the worst does happen and you become infected with ransomware, managed IT services by Novatech ensure you have a backup in place to recover encrypted files.
2018 has seen continued ransomware campaigns. Malwarebytes has found a 55 percent increase in cyber-attacks, including ransomware, during Q3 of 2018. Keeping on top of cybercrime is a time-consuming and costly exercise. Managed IT support and IT services can do this job for you, keeping your IT resources free of malware and allowing you to get on with the job at hand – making your business successful.