We’ve all seen the ransomware headlines – most memorably those surrounding the global WannaCry attack that shut down NHS systems earlier this year.
But what exactly is ransomware, and how can you protect your business from an attack?
Ransomware is a kind of malicious software, usually spread via spam email attachments or web links. Once it has been unwittingly downloaded, it infects the machine and encrypts its files so they can’t be used or read. This data is then effectively held to ransom and only decrypted once the victim has transferred the attacker their required amount of money.
Unfortunately, once you’ve been targeted, there isn’t much you can do to regain access to your files. Decryption tools are sometimes available if the attack has been carried out using an old virus, but this is a rare occurrence, as cyber-criminals are developing new malware all the time. And worryingly, a recent Google study reported that this sinister cyber-crime tactic is here to stay.
However, there are a number of precautionary measures you can take to protect yourself and your business against an attack – the best line of defence being a robust back-up and disaster recovery solution. Below, we’ve compiled our top tips on how you can avoid falling victim to ransomware emails: