Ransomware is a worldwide phenomenon that is affecting users all around the globe. According to a recent study published by McAfee Labs, ransomware growth increased by 58 percent for the second quarter of 2015. For all businesses, small or large, the question is not “Will I be a victim of ransomware?” Instead, the question everyone should be asking is “Will I be prepared when ransomware attacks?” That said, falling victim to a ransomware attack is not the end of the world if you have a proper backup policy in place.
Ransomware first arrived on the scene in 2005. The first known ransomware strain was The Trojan.Gpcoder, which affected Windows operating systems. Ransomware is comparable to humans in that it comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Ransomware attacks once used screen pop-ups that would notify users of the attack and the amount of money required to unlock a computer. Today’s ransomware attacks are more sophisticated than ever and use “unbreakable encryption.” That usually means if you do not have your data backed up you will not be seeing that data again (AKA you’re toast)—unless you pay the ransom. And paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will gain access to your data.
Ransomware can infiltrate and spread through your systems in a matter of minutes; all it takes is one wrong click. This type of malware typically enters a network through its weakest link, normally social media or an email with an infected link or attachment. Ransomware is an effective form of cybercrime because the attackers can instill both fear and panic in their victims. But there are other reasons as well: ransomware is easy to create and deploy. The good news is that we can all fight this sort of cybercrime with a thorough backup plan.