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Preventing Cyber Extortion: Safeguard Your Business

27 July, 2020

In an age where cyber threats loom large, the concept of extortion is no longer confined to the realm of old mob-run cities. Instead, it has found a new breeding ground on the internet in the form of ransomware. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this issue as hackers take advantage of weakened cybersecurity measures. To protect your company from ransomware threats, it is crucial to understand the problem and take proactive steps.

Understanding Ransomware

Ransomware is a malicious computer virus that allows hackers to infiltrate your system, encrypt your files and programs, and hold them hostage. The hackers then demand a ransom payment in exchange for restoring access to your valuable data. This insidious threat has been around for decades, but its prevalence has skyrocketed in recent years. Criminals have realized that ransoming information back to its rightful owner can yield far greater profits than simply stealing and selling it.

The Rise of Ransomware

The statistics surrounding ransomware attacks are alarming. Forbes reported a 25% increase in overall attacks between Q4 of 2019 and Q1 of 2020. This surge can be attributed to a corresponding 33% rise in ransom payments during the same period. The profitability of hacking has made it an attractive industry for cybercriminals.

Ransomware in the Era of Remote Work

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adopt remote work arrangements. While this transition has been seamless for some, it has presented significant challenges for IT departments. Although IT professionals can perform much of their work remotely, certain tasks necessitate on-site access to server rooms. Cybercriminals are well aware of this vulnerability and have been relentlessly targeting organizations with fractured IT departments. Recent high-profile attacks, such as the one on the city of Florence, Alabama, and Honda’s production shutdown, highlight the increasing danger posed by ransomware.

The New Frontier of Business Vulnerability

The pandemic has demonstrated that businesses can function efficiently with fewer employees physically present in offices or factories. Automation and remote work have made operations more streamlined. However, this increased reliance on technology also means that a single security breach can have devastating consequences. As businesses become more technology-dependent, a single wrong decision, such as opening a malicious email, can bring operations to a grinding halt.

Lightning Can Strike Twice

Imagine your business falling victim to a ransomware attack, resolving the crisis, and resuming normal operations, only to be struck again by another attack. Unfortunately, this scenario is not uncommon. Not only can a single business experience multiple attacks, but different parts of an organization can also fall prey to the same ransomware. Schools within a district, for example, have been targeted successively after a single initial breach. Similar or identical safety protocols across an organization make it easier for hackers to repeat their exploits. The false belief that “it can’t happen to us” is a dangerous mindset shared by many businesses.

Taking Action to Protect Your Business

While hackers continuously enhance their techniques, most attacks are still opportunistic in nature. Hackers target the path of least resistance, exploiting vulnerabilities such as employees falling for phishing scams or outdated IT protocols. This is where professional assistance becomes invaluable. By partnering with a reputable company, you can rest assured that your system is safeguarded against potential threats. Investing time and effort into fortifying your cybersecurity measures can be better allocated to growing your business. By engaging our services, we will assess your current system, identify vulnerabilities, and help you implement a robust and proactive defense strategy. With our expertise, you can confidently face the ever-evolving threats that seek to compromise your valuable data.

27 July, 2020