What Does Ransomware Mean to Your Business?

ransomware and your business

cyber crime is a topic that’s not going away any time soon

Did you know that ransomware is the fasted growing crime on the planet? Have you ever thought about what ransomware means to you and your business? As you may or may not be aware, ransomware is a type of malware, or malicious software, which holds your business to ransom. This article will go through what ransomware means for your business and what you can do to help put the right protection in place to stop it.

What does ransomware do?

Through ransomware, cyber criminals are able to access and take control of your photographs, files and other data by encrypting it and then denying you access. They will demand a ransom for the release of this data and files. This ransom can be any amount, for example £5,000 in bitcoin, which is the online currency. Failure to pay within a few days may result in the figure increasing. Then if you still fail to pay, they will delete your data.

Who are the typical victims?

Anyone can be a victim of ransomware. However, small to medium-sized businesses are the usual target as the cyber criminals are aware that money and time isn’t spent as much on security for devices and networks within these businesses. You will know when you have been targeted, as you will be locked out of your computer with a message popping up demanding the ransom money.

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Let’s look at the stats…

Did you know that up to 88% of UK businesses have suffered breaches in the past 12 months (source) with one small UK business being successfully hacked every 19 seconds? These breaches end up costing an average of £25,700 to clear up. Last year 28% of businesses were attacked with ransomware in the last year, with 13% paying the ransom. These statistics are shocking.

When it comes to figuring out how it happens in the first place, more than half of the infections occur when someone clicks on a dodgy link in an email. Have you ever clicked these fishy links? One in every 3,722 emails in the UK is a phishing scam, with 55% of UK email being spam.

Are the stats starting to sink in? Now let’s look at how we can actively protect against this terrifying cyber-crime to secure your business. As with a lot of threats, prevention is better than the cure, so take a long-term approach to keep strong against threats. Below we will explore five fantastic things you can do to protect your business;

1. Bring in the experts now!

By having an IT data security expert involved, you will gain peace of mind as you will know you have the latest security, equipment and knowledge to keep you safe, as well as someone you can turn to in an emergency.

Before you commit, ask them how they operate, which areas of data security they can help with as well as how they could handle a crisis. If you’d like to know more about how we, Acu IT Solutions, can help your business stay safe, then please do get in touch.

2. Find an IT Support Partner that gets the basics right.

Updates- a basic task to perform but a fundamentally important one. If you have an IT support partner, they can get this mundane task done for you. It’s really important to keep on top of the latest version of your security protection software, operating system as well as other software and applications you use.

As the malware and other cybercrimes become more advanced and evolve, you need to ensure your security protection is also evolving.

3. Be aware that email is the entry point for many attacks.

Think before you click! As you saw in the stats above, spam email is the cause of almost half the cyber- attacks. Don’t enable macros to suspicious emails and make sure you delete them and alert your IT support partner.

4. Make sure your data is backed up and checked constantly.

By using the cloud to safely store copies of your files, if you do end up hacked, then you have a copy of your data and files backed up. It may seem like a pain, but by constantly backing up and checking your data, you can access versions from before you were attacked, minimizing reinfection chances.

However, this can’t be the only step followed. Even with a copy of everything, you should still do everything you can to protect your files and data, as you wouldn’t want them getting into the wrong hands.

5. Train your team to know what to look for.

Alongside an amazing IT support partner, you should also make sure you train your staff to be vigilant with suspicious links and emails. By giving your team valuable regular cyber-security training, you are encouraging them to take this seriously and help protect your data and files.

Check whether your IT support partner offers regular training or have a look to see what is local or online. It would be vital for everyone to attend; from your receptionist to CEO. Together, you really can make a great defence.

What can you do if you get caught out by ransomware?

1. Don’t panic.
2. Don’t pay the ransom.
3. Don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and call your IT support partner.

By following the advice above, you will have a backup copy of your data, then your IT support partner will be able to prevent further infections on your devices and networks and reinstall the lost data.

Your team will know the risks and be able to exercise caution. If you follow our advice, you will have limited the damage done, and will be back on track to securing your business from future threats.

Malware and ransomware can be daunting, and overwhelming. Get in touch today on 0141 255 1617 to talk through how we can help protect your business from cybercrimes.

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