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Don’t fall into the trap: Ransomware

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Don’t fall into the trap: Ransomware

We often get caught up in ensuring our website design and function is of the highest possible quality, but what about its security?

Where security is concerned, ignorance is not bliss. We need to be actively aware of cyber security at all times, taking all measures possible to decrease the chance of any unlawful infiltration.

As you may have seen in the news recently, a cyber attack which is taking the online world by storm is ransomware. This dangerous software is becoming more and more popular, blocking access to your entire computer system and requiring a fee to be paid in order to regain access. However, even when a sum of money is paid, it does not guarantee you will retrieve all of the data you had stolen from you.

Identifying ransomware

The attackers behind ransomware will try to infiltrate your system the same way many other viruses do; via email. This is often the quickest and easiest way for attackers to gain access to your system, as it is the method of communication that so many businesses use. The emails generated are also designed and written to appear legitimate.

Be aware of the following type of emails you receive and think twice before opening its attachments:

  • Invoices – Depending on the department you work in, receiving emails with invoices as attachments and links could be standard procedure. Prior to opening the attachment, ensure you recognise who the sender is and you are aware of what the invoice is in regards to.
  • Delivery – Emails are often sent from delivery companies, providing shipping notifications via a link. As soon as you click the link, you are allowing the attackers entry into your system.
  • Job applications – You wouldn’t assume an attacker could be attempting to infiltrate your system via a job application email. These are usually the types of emails that fool us the most, so it’s important to stay vigilant

Emails like the above examples are often sent out in mass bulk, as this increases the attacker’s results. Out of 100 emails sent, the attacker may only get five click throughs, but will still earn a significant sum of money through those conversions alone.

Staying protected from ransomware

Where ransomware is concerned, prevention is key. Once it has happened and your files have been encrypted with the virus, the chances to retrieve data without paying the sum of money required, are slim.

You have probably heard it before, but we are here to tell you again; antivirus security is crucial. This will actively monitor applications to block advanced malware attacks.

Ensure your system’s data is backed up in its entirety. Purchase external hard drives and back up your files on a daily basis. It’s vital you remember to disconnect this hard drive from your system every day, otherwise this can also be infiltrated by the ransomware.

Date: 22.03.17

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