Ransomware poses a cyber threat to your business 24/7

Ooops, your important files are encrypted.

If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted. Perhaps you are busy looking for a way to recover your files, but don’t waste your time. Nobody can recover your files without our decryption service.

These are the kind of words that send shivers down the spine of any 21st century business.

We guarantee that you can recover all your files safely and easily… all you need to do is send $300 (USD) worth of Bitcoin to…

The scammers message is clear — pay up or you can forget about conducting business as usual.

In fact, the appearance of these words signalled the three-day crippling of the Cadbury chocolate factory in Hobart, costing the parent company, Mondelēz International, $140m in lost revenue.

This is what a ransomware attack can do huge multinationals but they aren’t the only target of this malicious software (malware) as it can sneak past just about any businesses security systems and lock them out until they pay.

In this article, we’ll help you understand how and why ransomware works and what you can do to prevent it from shutting you down.

How ransomware works

Ransomware often slips by your anti-virus and anti-malware software by disguising its presence as attachments or links sent to you by email.

All it takes is one person at your company to open the attachment or click the link to initiate a process that will download and install the ransomware on one computer before it spreads to the entire network.

Then, having locked you out of your system, it demands you pay the ransom to get your data and access back. The ransom amount can seem insignificant compared to the

potential losses to your business but accumulated over many businesses it adds up to a nice payday for the scammer.

The scammers usually insist on payment in the form of cryptocurrencies because they are harder to trace.

Why it works

Ransomware is clever in the way it exploits human foibles, such as curiosity, fear, or basic inattention in order to sneak by your system’s defences.

Scammers will feed off trusted brand images and create websites, and apps that mimic those of legitimate businesses to entice users to enter their legitimate login information. Alternatively, they’ll create an email or link that promises a risque image, or hilarious joke.

They often get really creative by doing things such as mimicking emails from delivery companies making users click to see, receive, track or accept their order.

It just takes one employee to click a link that can devastate a business.

What you can do to prevent it?

It’s incredibly hard to recover files encrypted by ransomware and even if you pay the ransom, there’s a possibility your system may not actually be unlocked or that your data will have been copied and sold anyway.

So, when it comes to ransomware, we believe prevention and damage minimisation is better than finding an elusive or non-existent cure.

There are some things you or your IT managers can do, such as ensuring your software is up-to-date, your data is backed up, and your employees are aware of the risks involved in opening and interacting with emails from unknown sources.

At JMIW, we put processes in place that minimise the impact of ransomware, including:

  1. Providing free cybersecurity risk assessments.
  2. Checking your backups are working and showing you how to access them.
  3. Helping you recover your files and providing bitcoins if you have been attacked.
  4. And, covering you from losses with cybersecurity insurance.

We believe an attack on your business could be imminent. If you suspect you’ve been attacked by ransomware or want to prepare yourself for the worst, please visit www.justmakeitwork.com.au or reach out via enquiries@justmakeitwork.com.au or phone 1300 644 567.

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