Cyber security is something that almost every business has to be concerned with; after all, almost every company, no matter how big or small, depends on a computer system in one way or another.
Protecting your data against cyber attacks is essential for a number of different reasons. You may have sensitive information concerning employees, customers, financial records, products, business plans and more that you can't afford to have compromised or corrupted. In fact, a lack of proper cyber security can leave you particularly vulnerable to potential ransomware attacks.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software that infiltrates computer systems in the same way as malware, but with a different goal in mind. Cyber attackers use ransomware to gain remote access to a device, such as a computer. They then hold the data they find on the device hostage, threatening to destroy it or release it unless a ransom is paid - which is why it's known as ransomware.
Ransomware attacks are generally more targeted than malware. Hackers will target specific computer systems belonging to corporate businesses because of the fact that they are more likely to pay a ransom to regain control of their data.
5 Most Common Types of Ransomware
Ransomware attacks have ramped up over the past few years, and the following are a few of the more common types of ransomware attacks:
Cerber - Cerber is a relatively new ransomware that was developed last year. However, what makes it such a deadly ransomware is that the decryptor for each variant is compatible with 12 different languages. This made it easy for the creator to create an affiliate system, basically creating a ransomware-as-a-service platform that resulted in huge profits for the creator separate from their own independent cyber attacks. Cerber targets cloud-based Office 365 users through an elaborate phishing campaign. It's affected millions of users so far.
Locky - Locky is a ransomware that's spread via spam, often as an email message that looks like an invoice. When opened, the user is instructed to enable macros in order to read it. If the user does this, the ransomware will begin encrypting files, demanding a ransom to unlock them.
CryLocker - CryLocker personalizes the ransom note using data it finds on the user's computer, such as the user's name, birthday, location, Facebook information, system details and IP address in order to pressure the user. It then locks the user out of their computer entirely and demands a payment within 24 hours.
CryptoLocker - Created in 2013, CryptoLocker was used to encrypt files using file extensions. The hacker then threatened to delete the private keys within days of the infection unless a ransom was paid. If the ransom was paid, a private key is given to the user through a specific online tool. CryptoLocker was shut down within a year, but only after the hackers got away with almost $3 million in ransom. Many variants of this ransomware have surfaced as a result.
Jigsaw - Jigsaw is a particularly serious ransomware in that it will encrypt your files and then begin deleting them systematically until the ransom is paid. It will delete one or more files every hour over the course of a 72-hour period. Once the 72 hours are up, all of the files that have been encrypted will be deleted.
The last thing that your business can afford is to have your data compromised by a ransomware attack. Fortunately, there are several cyber security methods that you can implement to help protect against ransomware. Be sure to contact us at Envision IT Solutions for information on improving your IT security today.
Written By Kevin Gray
Hello! I am the Vice President @ EnvisionIT Solutions. | Technology Expert | Author | Speaker | Small & Medium Business IT Support - We founded EnvisionIT Solutions in 2007 to provide IT services and support for business owners/CEOs who value the necessity of technology to drive their success and growth.