With global ransomware attacks up 151%, in just the first half of 2021, the amount of cyber-attacks has already surpassed the global 2020 total. The FBI warns that there are at least 100 different strains currently in circulation. There is no question that ransomware threats are on the rise at alarming rates. Today we’ll answer the question – what is a ransomware attack? – and explain how hiring an MSP can stop these attackers in their tracks.
What Are Ransomware Attacks?
Ransomware is a type of malware or malicious software that locks users out of their files via encryption, making users unable to access their data without a unique key. Hence the name, hackers play a manipulative game where they block users from accessing their own data by withholding the key until the users pay them a ransom. Ransomware hackers frequently use a toolkit of other manipulative tactics, like threatening to publish the victims’ private and sensitive data.
How Can a Ransomware Attack Be Stopped?
The first step to stopping a ransomware attack is to be proactive by taking preventative measures such as installing anti-malware software. The best way to do this is by hiring a managed IT team of certified cybersecurity professionals that can optimize a defense plan for your company against ransomware. A qualified IT managed service provider will handle all your cybersecurity needs, including ransomware attacks, leaving you with more time to focus on your area of expertise within your business. However, even with an MSP in place, there are some safety precautions you must follow in your daily life to avoid ransomware sneaking its way inside your devices.
- Avoid Opening Unfamiliar Emails – Most unfamiliar emails that find their way into our inboxes are spam, which is reason enough to avoid them. Some of these spam emails, however, may contain harmful ransomware trying to take over your device. Harmful emails can contain links and attachments that, when clicked or downloaded, can install ransomware onto your device.
- Do Not Click Malicious Links – As a general rule of thumb, try avoiding clicking on unfamiliar links to eliminate any risk of infecting your device with ransomware. Tip: You can hover your cursor over a link while looking at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen to determine a link’s destination URL.
- Never Open Strange Attachments – To reiterate the first safety precaution, avoid opening and downloading any unfamiliar attachments that land in your inbox.
- Stop Giving Out Your Personal Information – Exercise extreme caution when sharing your personal information. If you must share sensitive data with someone, consult with your MSP first to determine the best course of action. Cybercriminals may contact you via email, text, or phone call requesting your information to use against you.
- Use a VPN – When using public Wi-Fi networks, always have a VPN enabled to protect you from cyber threats.
Need an MSP that offers premium ransomware protection and Houston IT support? Contact Uprite Services today.