The rate of malware and ransomware infections in businesses is at an all-time high and showing no signs of slowing. How you prepare can make all the difference between a minor disturbance and a disaster.

 

What is Malware?

Malware is an abbreviated term meaning “malicious software.” Malware is specifically designed to infect or damage a user’s PC without their knowledge.

Spyware, worms, and keyloggers are all examples of various types of malware that uses malicious code to infiltrate a computer.

Today, much of malware is used for profit through forced advertising, stealing sensitive information, or spreading spam through the user’s e-mail channels.

 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is similar to malware in that a user’s PC will silently be infected, only the user will notice that all their files have been locked or encrypted.

The user’s files are held for ‘ransom’ until payment is made to the hackers to retrieve the files. Unfortunately, once payment is made, the user is NOT guaranteed to get the files back.

 

How is a business infected?

Ransomware viruses typically make their way into an organization or business via email attachments. Theses attachments are often ‘spoofed’ to come from trusted services such as Amazon, for example, where a false “View Order” or “Track Order’ link is presented to the user.

Once the link or attachment is opened, the virus is spread to the user’s machine.

The recent .locky ransomware virus will actually seek out shared and hidden network drives the moment a machine is infected.

 

How can I prevent this?
  • It’s important that your business have a disaster and recovery plan put into place. This will ensure that your business is back up and running in as little time as possible. This includes having working backups of your business files.
  • It is critical that your staff is aware of bogus email attachments and is properly trained on how to handle them.
  • Keep antivirus software updated and run frequent patches and scans.
  • Verify the sender of an email containing any attachments or links that appear suspicious, or of a contact requesting your attention to a quote or invoice.

Cyber threats in this day and age are nothing to ignore. No matter if you’re outsourcing your IT department or not, it’s critical to keep an open awareness that a business can be hit at any time. It’s how you prepare for such an event that will make all the difference.

Contact Miken today for more information. Miken offers consulting & training services on this topic.