In 2020, ransomware increased by 435% from the year before with someone falling victim to an attack every 10 seconds. [1,2]
As for the cost, the latest predictions estimate that global ransomware damages will reach $20 billion by the end of this year—57 times more than in 2015. 
These shocking statistics show just how important it is to keep your business protected from unscrupulous cyber criminals.
Join us to learn how ransomware works, why ransomware is on the rise, and our top cyber security tips to keep your business safe.
Ransomware is a type of malware used by cyber criminals to infect computers and block your access until a ransom is paid, usually in bitcoin. Once ransomware infects your system, it will attempt to spread to any connected computers, shared drives and networks.
Most ransomware attacks are facilitated by phishing emails devised to trick the recipient into clicking a link or downloading an attachment.
The ransomware identifies all the computers and drives on an infected system and begins to encrypt the files within each one. It then displays instructions on how the victim can pay the ransom to recover their data or risk permanent withholding and data destruction.
Although there has been a steady year on year increase, the increase in the number of ransomware attacks spiked even more dramatically in the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ransomware attackers took advantage of the fear and confusion brought on by the pandemic to send malicious emails, PDFs, Word Documents, and audio files that appeared to come from reliable organizations such as the World Health Organization and CDC.
The first step is to ensure that all of your applications and operating systems are fully up to date. Older versions often have security vulnerabilities that can easily be exploited by ransomware attacks. Pay particular attention to making sure your antivirus software, firewalls, and email filtering software are running the latest version.
Although a business basic, being prepared is all too often overlooked. It’s important to perform frequent backups of your mission-critical data, and be sure to verify them on a regular basis. Store your backups on an external hard drive or on a device that’s not connected to your network. You should also have a disaster recovery plan in place to protect your company from any type of disasters—both natural and data driven.
A computer system is only as safe as the people using it. Educating your employees on online security best practices is an essential part of protecting your business from ransomware attacks. An experienced IT company can help you understand and explain the do’s and don’ts of online safety.
Now that you understand ransomware is on the rise, it’s crucial that you take your business’s cyber security seriously, and we’re here to help.
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