Earlier this week the City of Dallas, Texas experienced a dangerous Ransomware attack. Ransomware is a type of malware that can take over a computer system or network and encrypt files, rendering them inaccessible to the rightful owner.
Then the attacker demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key that will unlock the files.
This type of attack has become increasingly common in recent years, and all types of businesses, hospitals, and municipal governments are at risk.
Large businesses and city infrastructure are equipped with elaborate cybersecurity protection plans.
Let’s take a closer look at ransomware and what you can do to protect your business.
How Ransomware Works
Ransomware typically enters a system through a phishing email or a vulnerable software application. Once the malware is installed, it begins to encrypt files on the infected machine and any connected devices or network shares.
The attacker then sends a message demanding payment in exchange for the decryption key. If the ransom is unpaid, the attacker may threaten to publish the encrypted data or delete it entirely.
Avoiding a dangerous Ransomware attack
There are several steps you can take to protect your business from ransomware attacks:
- Educate your employees: Train your employees to recognize phishing emails and avoid clicking on suspicious links or attachments.
- Keep software up to date: Install software updates promptly to address known vulnerabilities that could be exploited by attackers.
- Backup your data: Regularly backup important data to an off-site location, so you can restore it if necessary.
- Use anti-virus software: Install and regularly update anti-virus software to detect and prevent malware from infecting your system.
- Use a firewall: Use a firewall to restrict unauthorized access to your network and prevent ransomware from spreading.
- Develop a response plan: Develop a response plan that outlines steps to take in the event of a ransomware attack, including isolating infected machines and contacting law enforcement.
Ransomware attacks can be devastating for businesses of all sizes. Keep an up-to-date IT department to protect your organization.