Lock cyber criminals out: What you need to know about ransomware!

April 20, 2017 - Tags: Technology Managing

This guest blog post is provided by Public Safety Canada which leads Get Cyber Safe, a national public awareness campaign about Internet security and online safety.

Recently there has been a growing conversation about the dangers of ransomware, but what exactly is it? Ransomware is a form of malware that provides cyber criminals with the ability to steal money from their victims. Such criminals usually do this by withholding access to your computer until a sum of money is paid. For example, criminals may threaten to exploit personal information or may demand payment in order for the victim to be able to open a certain computer file.

Ransomware can spread through various forms, but the most common entry points are via e-mail attachments, infected programs and compromised websites.

It is important, especially for those who own small and medium businesses, to protect themselves by taking precautionary measures.  The best way to do so is by running data back-ups on a regular basis. By backing up your device to a USB key and/or hard drive, you avoid putting yourself in a position that makes you feel like you must obey the demands of a cyber criminal.  Having a second copy of everything that is stored on your computer gives you the security you need.

If you do happen to fall victim to ransomware, be sure never to comply or negotiate with the cyber criminal!

Although ransomware is still a growing problem, being prepared is a key ingredient to avoiding its risks and dangers.

To learn more about ransomware and the latest online scams visit our website.


Posted by kent on April 28, 2017
This is a good starting point to raise awareness of ransomware of small business owners but it should be expanded on to help educate them further. First of all, it's easy to tell people never to comply or negotiate with a cyber criminal but if their business lifeblood (data) is held for ransom, they often have no choice. Secondly, doing backups only, although better than no backup at all, will not ensure they are protected. For example, they may run a back up of the encrypted files, which replaced the unencrypted files. I work for an organization where we provide managed services to small and medium sized businesses. We provide a service through a provider [...] which ensures that customers can roll back to a previous point in time when they didn't have encrypted files and they can restore everything. This is true protection against ransomware and we have demonstrated it in real-life scenarios many times.
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