Hackers are continuously adapting to increased security systems and learning new tricks to steal important data. Anyone with an electronic device can be subject to their attacks. However, one defense breach leaves not just one person’s data but thousands of people’s information at the mercy of these hackers.
Ransomware hackers do what the name suggests. They hold information and data hostage by locking out or encrypting information and stating that they will only return these files once a ransom is paid. These amounts can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands depending on who is being targeted. Certain types of attackers claim that they will instead leak information if they are not paid. However, even once the ransom is delivered, many hackers will take the money and run.
While anyone can be the target of this kind of attack, these criminals usually focus on those who have large amounts of information but lack the intense security infrastructure to fight off a large scale breach. For example, banks and hospitals are frequent favorites. With sensitive information, many of these organizations have no other choice but pay the ransom. Many government agencies can also fall prey to the experienced hacker. However, these attacks are preventable with a few changes to protocol and systems.
All it takes to infect an entire computer system is one person clicking on a infected link. This can open up an access point for a hacker to reach countless files. Many hackers will use emails that come with information that will look relevant and attractive. If you receive an email from a previously uncontacted source or the sender’s email looks somewhat different than usual, it is usually best to play it safe and avoid these emails.
Ransomware hackers pray on human weakness and fears. One of those fears is the anxiety many have of losing their important information forever. Fortunately, there are plenty of cloud services that can store your files with reliable security. This way if you are subject to an attack your files are safely stored in another location and you won’t have to worry about paying their expensive ransom. However, this does depend on you having the correct files in order. Therefore, frequent backup is recommended. If you are not storing your information in some sort of cloud, make sure to have physical storage spaces offline and off the preying eyes of attackers.
Having a reliable security system prevents ransomware attacks without you even noticing. These antivirus programs work behind the scenes to fight off any attack at any time of the day. It is important to invest in software that also fights ransomware. While a defense program works for most individuals, larger organizations can be target to more experienced hackers that know the weaknesses your firewalls and blocks. That is why many major companies use several layers of defense in order to fight off criminals at any point in their process. Many continuously patch their security system to work on any vulnerability. Other organizations rely on the two-step authentication system for extra protection. No defense is too much when dealing with smarter and smarter criminals.
While it may seem normal to allow relevant employees access to files, the more laptops and computers, the more openings are available for hackers. Having limited endpoints makes hackers work harder to find what they need. This also closes the circle of potential human mistakes as there are less people with access to this information.
Human error can open up pathways for an alert hacker. Security begins with training yourself and employees about the do’s and don’ts of the virtual world. While you may know not to reveal information on email or click on suspicious links, other employees may not be aware of the dangers. Any training can prevent even the smallest negligence and save you time and headaches.
Ransomware attacks are not going anywhere. These types of system breaches continue by the thousands each year. These can be scary to any person or organization. However, these intrusions can be prevented if you take the right steps to strengthen your defense system and train yourself in online etiquette.