A global cyberattack this past weekend led to cybercriminals gaining control of computers around the world, locking out such organizations as FedEx, the British public health system and universities throughout China. Once the hackers secured access, they held the data hostage and demanded payment from each organization. This is where the term “ransomware” originates.
Through ransomware, the hackers demand payment through Bitcoin, which is a hard-to-trace digital currency worth thousands of dollars. Some ransomware hackers have been known to demand as many as 30 Bitcoin, which equates to nearly $51,000. Cybercriminals are discovering that ransomware is the most effective way to make money in the shortest amount of time.
With ransomware software widely available, even non-computer experts can turn into computer thieves. The threat of a cyberattack is more real now than ever.
When faced with the decision of paying a ransom, studies show that many small- to medium-sized businesses do end up paying simply because they do not have backups of their data and feel that they have no other option. However, this payment could end up crippling the businesses.
Ransomware attacks usually begin one of two ways. The first is by attempting to convince an unsuspecting employee to click on an email, leading them to a website that is infected with ransomware code. This is right in line with our previous blog post, which discusses the impact of one simple mistake.
The second method of attack is usually a more aggressive one with the hackers attempting to penetrate an organization through software vulnerabilities, weak passwords or other unlocked digital doors. Once inside, the ransomware will then encrypt as many files as possible, locking out the organization from gaining access.
At STM, our Disaster Recovery service provides secure backup copies of your IT infrastructure in our redundant offsite data center, safe from unauthorized access. You’ll have access to your backup files through our dedicated servers, as well as a close copy of your data which can be used for data recovery within minutes of an emergency. Contact STM at (704) 334-7893 to see how we can protect you.