Ransomware is a blade of the dark shadow looming over the internet. Companies are right to fear it, but how much do we truly understand about this corrupt weapon?
We should start by explaining what Ransomware is and how it works. A virus sneaks its way onto your network/computer/server with the defined goal of corrupting your data. Now you are powerless. All your information about clients, employees, jobs, history, payments and everything else is suddenly just gone or inaccessible.
Some fool must have opened a shady email or clicked the wrong link, and now your business is ruined!
That is when they contact you. These are not simply trolls who want to watch the world burn. Ransomware is used to steal your money by holding your data hostage.
A man in the dark asks how much your information is worth to you. Are you willing to pay the price? This price is usually anywhere from R3 000 to R15 000, but there is no limit on what they can demand. You may refuse to pay and try to get your own developers to break the code, but it is very likely that they will be unable to.
Surprisingly enough, once the ransom is paid, most companies get their data back, and the villains disappear into the darkness again. Scary stuff. How can we stop it?
It’s vital for every device on a network to have decent, all-round, paid-for, up-to-date antivirus software from a reputable vendor that is managed as it should be. Do not delay that scan for even one day. Remember that your network is only as strong as its weakest link, the easiest access. All the users must be mindful of the security risks. Teach them to beware of weird links, strange emails and anything out of the ordinary. Also, ensure that any software you are using within the company is from a trusted vendor that prioritises security.
A thousand links, but only one can break the chain. Be careful out there.