Ransomware – a malicious software that threatens you in various ways including denying you to access your data. The attacker demands a ransom to restore data access. Despite the fact that there has been a recent decline, ransomware is still a serious threat. ESET – an IT security company in a recent survey of 3000+ people in the US and Canada showed that many are unaware of ransomware and how to defend against it. The following is based upon the data collected by ESET:

Ransomware attacks
  1. 85% would never pay the ransom fee
  2. 42% had no idea about their Internet security
  3. 31% never back up their files
  4. 30% did not know about ransomware

In order for organizations to be safe from ransomware attacks, all employees must be educated about hacking and informed of the resources they can use to protect their data. Here are some measures everyone should take to be safe from malicious software.

  • Keep your system software updated to ensure you have fewer vulnerabilities to exploit.
  • Never install any unknown software on your system or give it administrative privileges.
  • Keep a reliable and paid antivirus product in your system which detects malicious programs like ransomware as they arrive.

Backup your files, frequently and automatically. Though it won’t stop a malware attack, but it can make the damage less significant.

Should ransom be paid to the attackers?

If your system has been infected with malware and your data is at risk, should you pay the ransom?  Most law enforcement agencies urge you not to pay ransomware attackers because it encourages hackers’ attacks. According to research from Trend Micro, while 66% of companies agree to never pay a ransom as a point of principle,  65% actually do pay the ransom when they get hit.

There are a couple of things to remember before you decide to deal with these cyber criminals. Firstly, what appears to be ransomware may not have encrypted your data at all, make sure you are not dealing with “scareware” before you send any money to the attacker. Secondly, paying the attacker does not guarantee that you will get back your data. Sometimes the attackers take the money and may not have even built a decryption functionality into the malware.

The best way is to take precautions to minimize the impact of such attacks. To gain more knowledge for keeping your system safe, check out uCertify CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst courses.

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