Ransomware & Your Small Business

Small businesses find themselves under a ransomware attack more often than large businesses. In fact, small business employees who worked for companies of under 100 people tend to experience, on average, 350 percent more social engineering attacks than employees who work for larger companies. 

Is your business safe? Learn what ransomware is, what you can expect if an attack happens to you and the steps to put in place now to protect yourself.

What Is Ransomware?

Sending and receiving e-mails are all in a day’s work, but what if the next time you tried to send an e-mail, your screen went dark and a message appeared instead? What if that message read that your computer had been locked and the only way to regain access is to pay a ransomware settlement?

The costs are often out of reach for most small businesses. How do you know the hackers will allow you to regain access after payment? What’s more, once the hackers know you want to pay up, what will stop them from raising the price to something decidedly less affordable? 

Ransomware is a common occurrence. Now more than ever, you need to make sure you’re taking the right precautions so you don’t have to pay ransomware settlements. Take a look at common ransomware examples below.

Types of Ransomware

There are many types of ransomware attacks, with frequent new discoveries. The following examples are three types of ransomware that could put a small biz out of business, fast. 

  • REvil or Sodin. After the discovery of this Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) variant, it has become one of the top variants. Whether it’s moving through spam e-mails, exploit kits or unpatched VPNs, REvil is a common problem and bad news for anyone who gets in its path.
  • Robinhood. This ransomware doesn’t only rob from the rich. Affecting computers or the entire computer system is child’s play for Robinhood. After files are encrypted and a ransom note revealed, bitcoin payment is demanded in return for system restoration.
  • SNAKE. Sneaky and sly, this 2019 ransomware newcomer targets industry control systems, stealing admin login info to keep encrypting files everywhere it goes. Yes, it goes everywhere, and has fast become a very big problem for anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in its path. 
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How to Handle Ransomware

Ransomware is not a laughing matter. Use multiple responses to help make your business’ information harder to snag. It’s easier to set parameters now than to unravel an attack later. With 304 million ransomware attacks around the world in 2020, it’s time to protect yourself. Here’s how:

Backup Your Files

Single copies of data are never a good idea — too many things can go wrong. Protect your sensitive information and make frequent backups of all your valuable information. Use multiple types of media, storing these copies on site and off, to better prevent a complete ransomware takeover.

Use Firewalls 

Put up a wall between potential hackers and your website. A firewall scans incoming traffic, hunting for threats like malware, and blocking suspicious bots and unwanted communication. 

Use Security Software

From e-mail to downloads and everything in between, installing security software is a no-brainer for every business. Software from Fortinet, for instance, scans files for known ransomware threats, viruses and malicious file types. With regular updates, this software can help prevent a ransomware attack.

Protect Your Business

Ransomware is one of the worst cyber attacks to affect a business. Unfortunately, a business of any size can be a target. Understanding how ransomware works and what it can look like goes a long way to help you better keep your business safe. 

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