How Does Ransomware Work? Is Your Company Safe from Threats?

One Ransomware attack could cost your company $58 million. This malware encrypts your files and demands a ransom from you, to be paid with Bitcoin. If you don’t pay, your files are deleted.

The worst part? Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and more and more companies are falling victim to it. Even larger organizations aren’t safe; the British NHS was attacked in 2017, costing the organization a staggering $118 million.

Right now, you’ve probably got a lot of questions. What is ransomware? How does ransomware work?

Most importantly, you’re probably wondering how to protect yourself. We’re here to help. 

Want to find out how to protect yourself? Read on, and stay safe.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Getting infected with ransomware is the easy part. Ransomware is often attached to phishing emails as a seemingly-innocuous file. Even if your infosec on emails is tight, this is just one part of the equation.

You can also be infected by drive-by downloading. This is when you visit a malicious website, which automatically downloads a file. Social media is yet another attack vector.

If your system has any weak points, malware will find them.

This is how ransomware is installed. But how does ransomware work when it’s on your machine?

Once in the system, the malware will set to work encrypting your files. This isn’t a bluff, by the way: the malware really does encrypt your files with secure algorithms.

Once your files are encrypted, the malware will tell you to pay a ransom. This is usually paid in Bitcoin and could be hundreds of dollars or more per computer. If you don’t pay the ransom by a deadline, your files will be either erased or permanently locked.

How to Protect Yourself

Understanding ransomware and the mechanics behind how it spreads is easy. What you need to know is how to protect yourself.

Your first line of protection should be a solid security system. Getting managed IT support is your best bet. You should also give your business a cybersecurity audit, which will detect any potential infection vectors.

Even after your system is secured, infection is still possible. What if, despite everything, you are infected? Paying your ransom will cost thousands, but is there any way to avoid it?

Yes, there is.

Keeping your data backed up offsite is essential. This way, if you are infected, your data is protected. You won’t fail your customers and you won’t lose your progress on any projects.

If your data is backed up, your IT support can simply wipe the computers. This will destroy the ransomware and let you get on with business as usual.

Staying Safe

The question of “how does ransomware work?” has been on everyone’s lips recently. While it is a relatively new threat, it isn’t any different from other malware.

The same principles to protecting yourself still apply: keep your networks secure and back up your data.

We can help you do both. Get in touch with us for a quote or if you have any questions!