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What is Ransomware?

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Ransomware is any malicious software that infects computer systems or networks and operates by displaying messages that demand fees for the system to function normally again. It is a type of malware cyber-criminals use as a money-making scheme. Malicious cyber actors install ransomware through links sent via email or websites without the knowledge of the user. It has the capability of locking access to data through encryption, targeting sensitive files. Users can protect their information and data from this threat by ensuring they have firewalls that block suspicious traffic. Also, security experts advise users to avoid visiting or opening unknown or suspicious links and websites. Having an updated antivirus also helps mitigate against ransomware.

Ransomware attacks come with an additional challenge for victims in that they have to make a decision as to whether they will pay the ransom demand to regain access to their data and systems again, essentially funding the very cyber criminals that attacked them.  There are no guarantees that once a ransom has been paid that the victim will get their data back, or that it won’t still be made available to others, as well as there being no surety that systems won’t remain compromised once control is handed back. 

As the sophistication of attack methods continues to increase, protection from ransomware attacks should be central to your cyber security strategy. Talk to us about building your cyber resilience.

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