Ransomware and Tops Things You Should Definitely Know About It

Cyber security attacks are threats that result in severe causes. Ransomware is one of the forms of malware and it works by encrypting files. After the encryption, attackers demand a ransom to restore access to files. While ransomware is a simple form of malware, avoiding it requires some comprehensive measures.

By reading this article, you can learn more information about the basics of ransomware attacks. In this way, preventing these attacks is more achievable.

Targets of Ransomware Attacks

Because ransomware attacks are more targeted considering other malware activities, it is essential to know their targets. First of all, companies who need their files instantly are better targets. Government offices and medical institutions can be considered as good examples of that. On the other hand, industries like banking, financial services and insurance, education, legal, energy and utilities, and public infrastructure must be aware of targetted ransomware attacks as well. Secondly, companies with weak cyber security measures might be targets for attacks.

Types of the Attacks

While there are many minor types of ransomware attacks, the major ones are locker ransomware and crypto-ransomware. In the case of locker ransomware, the victim’s computer is locked completely. And it stays locked, until the payment of ransom. However, in crypto-ransomware, the device is accessible but the files aren’t. They are being encrypted in this type of attack. With these types of attacks, all computers that are in the same network can be affected. This means that these attacks are increasing the vulnerability of the system as a whole.

The Working Mechanism of Ransomware Activities

A ransomware attack may spread a network in various ways. The most common way is a download via spam mails. After downloading the objectionable attachments, the malicious activity can spread through the network easily. Apart from that, social engineering, downloading dangerous files from the internet, and clicking on malvertising are some of the other ways of ransomware attacks.

After the step, which is the infection and distribution of vectors, the second step is to locking the network or encrypting the files based on the type of ransomware. Finally, when the malicious activity achieves its goals, the ransom is demanded by the attackers.

Prevention of Ransomware Attacks

The spread of malicious activities is improving every day. Thus, cyber security measures should develop gradually as well. To prevent ransomware attacks, there are numerous methods. The first and the most significant step for avoiding these malicious activities is to have a well-defined cyber security strategy. Because this is important for being assured of information security.

The Things You Should Do and Not to Do

To avoid ransomware attacks, and decrease the network’s vulnerability, you should never click on suspicious links. Besides, you should not download a file that is attached to an email, or on a website, unless you are %100 sure that the file is safe. Using unknown USB sticks is also a dangerous action that leaves the network vulnerable. These are the main steps that result in better cyber security.

Keeping your software up-to-date is another measure that you should take. In this way, you can avoid malicious activities. In addition, backing up all the important and sensitive data is the key to both preventing, and recovery. To sum up, to avoid ransomware attacks, the measures you should take are simple. You should be conscious of the threats, and be prepared for a possible attack.

Conclusion

Data breaches are highly common nowadays. And it might occur in numerous ways. Ransomware is a type of malicious activity that locks the network or encrypts the files to make you pay a ransom to attackers. While every network is at risk for malicious activity, the ones that need their files constantly and have a weak cyber security system are in danger more than others. For information security, you should know the weaknesses of your network.

By understanding how ransomware works, it’s possible to prevent ransomware attacks. This kind of malicious activity usually spreads by suspicious links and files. So, before you click on any link or download any files, you must be assured that it’s valid. In this way, data protection is an achievable goal. While ransomware attacks are common, they are not inevitable.

FAQ

● What are some examples of ransomware activities?

While there are many kinds of ransomware activities, some of the popular ones are Locky, Ryuk, Bad Rabbit, Petya, Jigsaw, CryptoLocker, WannaCry, and Shade/Troldesh. These are some of the activities that have spread among hundreds of countries.

● How to recover from a ransomware attack?

Because of a network vulnerability, a ransomware attack might spread in a network quickly. In this case, you should think about recovery and take action immediately. First of all, you should isolate the infection to prevent it from spreading all over the system. After that, you should identify and report the malicious activity. The next step is considering your options and decide on what to do for restoring. By using safe backups and programs, the recovery step can be completed. Later, you should think hard about how to avoid ransomware attacks.

● What is the result of a ransomware attack?

The results of a malicious activity vary depending on the type of attack and the cyber security measures that the victim’s network has. However, generally, it results in data breaches, financial losses, and disturbance to regular procedures. Sensitive information might be lost for a short time or good. That’s why backing up sensitive data is highly important.

● What are the methods for preventing ransomware activities?

The common measures to avoid ransomware are mainly about being cautious and prepared. Through a well-defined cyber security strategy and training your employees on the importance of data protection, these attacks are preventable. Besides, you should have valid and reliable anti-malware software to protect your network from this kind of activity.

References: Core Security, CSO Online, Kaspersky and Berkeley University.

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