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August 16, 2016
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October 10, 2016

How Much Ransom Would You Pay?

Ransomware Is On The Rise

Visualize this scenario: you come into work one day and see an email from a customer or vendor. Inside the email is a link that you innocently click and then bam your screen becomes frozen and your files are slowly one by one being corrupted. There is nothing you can do about it and your business is being halted to a complete standstill until you agree to pay a “ransom”. Sounds more like a nightmare doesn’t it? Unfortunately, this scenario is far from fiction thanks to the rise of Ransomware.

 

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a virus initiated by a hacker to compromise your system and hold it hostage in exchange for a payoff. It can infiltrate your system in the form of an email,

PDF or an internet download, and with one click can infect your entire network. Damage can include temporary or permanent data loss, financial loss and decrease in productivity.

 

What are some Ransomware warning signs and how can I safeguard against it?

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Ransomware can present in various forms but the majority are emails. When clicking links make sure you ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do I know the sender? Verify not just the name of the sender but the email address as well. Sometimes hackers can make it look like they are a known contact but actually email you from a different address.
  2. Does it make sense the sender is forwarding me this link? If you’re unsure contact the sender separately and ask them if they sent you the link before clicking on it.
  3. Are they asking for personal information like credit card numbers or encrypted passwords? Chances are anyone who needs this information will contact you verbally. Refrain from sending personal information through your email to prevent your security being compromised.
  4. Back up, Back up, Back up! Save your data regularly and have multiple safeguards in place such as an external hard drive or server. That way if you do fall victim to a hacker you’ll have access to your data.

What are the chances this could happen to me?

While it’s easy to assume you’re a tech savvy, firewall protected, virus scan secure business owner this is not always enough. According to a study conducted by Osterman Research nearly half of companies have fallen victim to ransomware in the past twelve months. Corporations are targeted more regularly as hackers know they have the resources to pay ransoms in exchange for their data.

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What should I do if my business becomes infected?

The first step is always to unplug your computer from the network and try to freeze out the hackers before they’ve infiltrated everything. After that call 20/20 Business Solutions at 800-538-0669. Don’t negotiate with the hackers and pay the ransom! Like most criminals there is no guarantee they will release your data and then you’ll be out of your files as well as your money!

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