When It Comes to Ransomware, It’s Best to Avoid It

Ransomware operates by playing a high-level game of keep-away. By applying military-grade encryption to the data on a targeted device, ransomware renders its victims powerless to use this data until a ransom is paid. Only after the demanded funds have changed hands will an attacker allegedly provide the necessary keys to decrypt the data? but whether or not they bother is another question entirely.

On the surface, it sounds like a simple problem to solve?the ransom could arguably be just another cost of doing business, right? Wrong. The demanded ransom is typically beyond the means of a small business by multiple decimal points, and again, there is no guarantee that your data will be restored. By paying, you could easily be giving the person responsible for halting your operations the rest of your business’ resources.

This is precisely why it is best practice to never pay the ransom? something that hackers make more and more challenging. Some have begun to implement a method called “double-extortion.” In addition to demanding a ransom to decrypt the data, an attacker will then demand that they be paid again, or else they’ll leak a business’ data online.

This puts an impacted business between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, not paying could end quite badly for their organization, but on the other, they still have no guarantee the hacker will stay true to their word and they’ll be funding later attacks and improvements to them.

It also needs to be said that ransomware introduces a mess of challenges where compliance is concerned. It’s a safe assumption that a lot of your stored data is sensitive in some way, so if it winds up leaked, you could be facing some regulatory fines for breaking compliance.

At the end of the day, the best way to protect your business from ransomware is to not be infected in the first place. Along with user education, advanced security measures and multi-factor authentication are useful ways to prevent infection. We can help you put these protections in place. Call (603) 889-0800 to learn more.

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