Ransomware is essentially a type of malicious software that blocks a user’s access to their own system. The party that is responsible for the ransomware attack then demands a ransom in exchange for access and is most likely to threaten the victim with the public release of their personal files or a complete data wipe in case their demands aren’t met. While most ransomware may be installed unknowingly through deceptive links or a website, it may also be a planned activity where the hacker may be targeting the victim.
Ransomware works typically by the hacker encrypting the files on a system – hence, blocking access – and then a ransom note popping up on the victim’s screen demanding money or anything else that they may want. This note may also include the hacker’s contact information or bank account details where the victim may either negotiate the ransom or transfer it as demanded. Most hackers demand ransom in cryptocurrency as it can be difficult to trace and leaves a little digital trail.
It is important that managers and users remain informed about ransomware and its other pertaining threats because not only does it make their company records and customer information vulnerable, but it also can prove to be very expensive and potentially damaging to their reputation. Hence, listed below are a few things that everyone should know about ransomware:
1. Ransomware can be difficult to detect
However, if users employ a comprehensive monitoring solution that detects early signs of malware and prevents it from entering or penetrating your system, you would be able to see any red flags and hence prevent any potential threats.
2. Hackers may try to perform reputational extortion
Reputational extortion is essentially the possibility of cyber-attacks becoming public knowledge through the media. Previous data threats experienced by companies like Yahoo have made executives realize that in addition to a data and privacy loss, ransomware attacks can also damage their company’s reputation and possibly tarnish the brand they took decades to build.
Attackers are using this to their advantage and threatening big organizations with ransomware attacks that could compromise their reputation in addition to compromising their data’s security. Hence, even if hackers know they don’t have access to private or secret company information, a very simple breach could be reported in the media and could cost the company its reputation by consumers withdrawing their confidence and loyalty. Also Read – What is Signal Detection Theory? Know About It.
3. Ransomware attacks may be targeted
While hackers do seek out systems that have the least amount of resistance in their networks, they do tend to conduct targeted attacks a well. As opposed to entering your system using a multi-way strategy, hackers are now detecting the most vulnerable entry point and using all their resources to target your systems from that particular point. Most importantly, hackers tend to target “whales” in a system which are simply individuals who have the most authority or privilege in a given company’s systems and online affairs.
Hence, companies should train all their employees about the possibilities of ransomware and the importance of basic security measures like two-factor authentication, strong passwords, and not sharing credentials. Also Read – How to Become an iOS App Developer
Companies and their employees should exercise vigorous and constant vigilance, and try to keep ransomware and malware attacks at bay. They should take all possible precautions and undertake all measures that they can to avoid being a victim. They should fortify their network and systems accordingly to remain safe.