Ransomware Threats Are Rapidly Advancing With Major Consequences for Businesses
3rd May 2023
A new report revealed that over a 12-month period, ransomware attacks affected 73% of UK organisations. In the last few months, the Guardian newspaper and Royal Mail hit the headlines after both suffering significant ransomware attacks.
So, what exactly is ransomware? Well, ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. When a business falls victim to a ransomware attack, criminals will threaten to publish your companies’ data or perpetually block access to your systems and data until that sum of money (ransom) is paid.
If a ransom fee is paid, there is no guarantee that data will ever be returned to you. This information is valuable as the criminals behind the attack can publicly post the data or sell it on cybercriminal forums and dark web marketplaces for additional revenue.
Access to data could be blocked in less time than it takes to make your morning porridge
When looking at the average office/customer setup, a previous type of ransomware, could prevent the owner from accessing their own data within 7 minutes of an infection. Frighteningly, a recently observed variant can now do this in just 4.5 minutes. This is the reason that companies need a suitable backup solution in place should the worst happen. All employees need to be alert and know how to notify IT teams when something just isn’t right (even if they may have been the cause), and why it’s critical to have effective cyber resources that can speedily react to isolate systems and contain infections to stop a spread.
Here are 6 tips that are recommended by The South East Cyber Resilience Centre to help you protect your company against a ransomware attack:
- Always back up your data, as restoring your files from a backup is the quickest way to regain access to your data.
- Never click on unverified links, especially when they are from sources or senders that you don’t recognise.
- Regularly scan your emails and systems for malware
- Only download files from trusted sites
- Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.
- Do not use unfamiliar USB devices.
The South East Cyber Resilience Centre (SECRC) is an innovative partnership between the Police, private sector, and universities designed to help businesses protect themselves against cybercrime.
Businesses of all sizes across the region are facing an increase in cyber-attacks and so it is essential that all organisations take practical, proactive steps to better protect themselves from a costly attack.
Working with the Police forces of Thames Valley, Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire the SECRC provides access to the latest local as well as national information on emerging cyber threats, best practice for cyber resilience as well as new technology to provide businesses with timely advice to prepare and protect your themselves, their staff and their clients from cyber criminals.