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What is Ransomware?

What is Ransomware?

No matter the size of your business, it can be prone to attacks from malware like ransomware, and the effects can be very detrimental to your business operations. Ransomware is a prevalent and one of the most effective malware used to attack businesses, individuals, and infrastructures. It infects your computer system and restricts your access until the ransom demands have been met.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malware that uses encryption to steal a person's information. When this malware encrypts an individual or organization's data, the victims lose access to their data, files, applications, and more.

Ransomware can easily paralyze a business because it quickly spreads across a network. Also, it targets various file servers and databases and makes them inaccessible. 

For this reason, learning some 2023 security tips is essential to secure your business from malware threats.

Unfortunately, some businesses have fallen prey to this threat and lost so much money to the perpetrators. To better understand this concept, let's look at the various types of ransomware.

What Are the Different Types of Ransomware?

Over the years, ransomware has been grouped into locker and crypto, but ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and double extortion have recently become popular.

Locker Ransomware

This type of ransomware restricts access to the computer system completely. This variant relies on compromised credentials and social engineering techniques to invade systems. Once they gain control, they block access for all users and demand a ransom.

In most cases, a pop-up message appears on the user's screen saying: "your computer has been infected with a virus; click here to remove the virus" or "your computer has been locked due to suspicious activities; to unlock it pay a fee of $100."

Crypto Ransomware

This ransomware is more prevalent than locker ransomware. It encrypts some or all files on a computer and demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption code or key. Some others also operate by infecting cloud drives and shared networks.

Crypto ransomware is widespread today because it spreads through various ways, including websites, malicious emails, downloads, etc. So it can be difficult to avoid or neutralize.

Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)

This may not be as common as the others, but it is a new variant that tends to be more dangerous because it allows perpetrators to easily find their way into systems without doing much work.

The perpetrators rent access to an already developed ransomware; the author offers it as a pay-for-use service and hosts it on dark nets so criminals and scammers can purchase it as a subscription.

The payment demanded by these ransomware creators usually depends on the complexity of the ransomware, and there is also a membership fee to join their crew. Once the members succeed in their operation, a commission is remitted to the ransomware creator or author based on prior agreement.

Double Extortion Ransomware

In this ransomware variant, users or victims are not just locked out of their systems. Instead, the scammers encrypt files and export data, then demand a ransom and threaten to publish the data if their demands are unmet.

Double extortion is a form of blackmail, and even if the victims can restore the data, the attacker still has a copy and, as such, can still cause harm to the business. In this scenario, paying the ransom also doesn't guarantee freedom or data safety, as the attacker will choose when to delete the stolen data.

How to Prevent Ransomware

  • Ensure your operating system is up to date and patched.
  • Don't install or give any software administrative rights unless you know its source and what it does.

  • Back up your data and files automatically and frequently to reduce the damage done by malware attacks.

  • Install antivirus software to help detect malicious activities like ransomware and prevent unauthorized programs from operating in the system.

Considering the numerous ways ransomware can harm your business may be scary and sometimes overwhelming. And you may need professional help to keep your systems safe. However, with managed IT services, you can rest assured that your critical business data and files are 100% secure at all times.

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