We have written numerous posts on our blog about ransomware and, unfortunately, must continue to do so, due to the devastating effects that ransomware continues to have on many businesses, and we are seeing it more and more. It really is a cyber epidemic. Let’s recap a few main thoughts about ransomware.

There are two types of ransomware:

Locker ransomware, where the data is not encrypted, but access to certain drives is denied. This is the less menacing of the two, because there is less chance of damage or destruction to data.
Crypto ransomware, like the Cryptolocker Virus we have written about and has affected so many businesses. Here, data, such as emails and documents, are encrypted, and the user is unable to open them.

A recent article from zdnet.com described a massive Locky ransomware campaign that is targeting hospitals. Hospitals are good targets, because their data files are so critical. Many businesses, however, are also being attacked, and ransomware is the “hot” hacking trend of 2016. There was an especially high spike in ransomware sent to hospitals in the first two weeks of August this year.

The new ransomware files have a macro-enabled file that uses Microsoft Word. Very often, an email with the infected file is sent, with the senders stating that they were asked to forward on the “financial file.” The first precaution that everyone should take is NEVER open a file from an unkown sender or without definite knowledge of its content.

Here are a few other tips for avoiding ransomware (see also capgemini.com) along with a link to our previous  articles on steps to prevent a cyber attack.

  • Training – ensure that ALL of your employees are trained on safe practices. Most viruses are contracted due to employee error.
  • Install robust security practices.
  • Install the latest layers of security protection.
  • BACKUP – consult with your IT professional on ensuring that you have quality and effective backup and are backing up often.

Here are two of our recent article on tips for prevention and how to handle cyber crime.