In the last few months we have noticed a significant increase in businesses being targeted by ransomware in Perth. This is an extremely serious threat that can disrupt or cripple your business operations. It is no longer a case of if you might be targeted, but when.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that encrypts the files on your network, both stored locally AND in the cloud. The attacker then demands a ransom to be paid to unlock them – usually thousands of dollars.
However, the ransom isn’t what breaks the bank, the downtime and data loss can be crippling for businesses.
How are the attacks carried out?
Ransomware is big business. Attacks are often instigated by large criminal organisations. Attackers compromise computers in various ways. Most commonly via fake “phishing” emails where the user is tricked into clicking a link that installs malware.
In recent times there has been a high prevalence of “brute force attacks” against businesses with remote access portals. Attackers gain access through dormant user accounts, or active accounts with weak passwords.
What is the best defence?
Above all else it is IMPERATIVE that all businesses have an isolated, secure backup system. This must be regularly checked, tested and monitored. This includes backing up data stored in the cloud such as Office 365 files and email.
At a user level, make sure you educate staff about phishing emails and the importance of using strong passwords.
There are also various network security precautions that should be implemented by your IT professional, so make sure you have regular IT reviews and audits. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding backups and cyber security for your business.
Some interesting statistics
In a 2017 ransomware report conducted by Datto, the following stats were compiled:
- In 2017, 45% of businesses paid the ransom, of those that paid, 14% still never recovered their data
- The total ransom paid to ransomware hackers: $12.6 million
- Of those experiencing a ransomware attack, 79% report business-threatening downtime
- 48% report ransomware encrypted a backup, making recovery even more complex
- Industries targeted the most frequently by ransomware attacks: construction, manufacturing and finance
- Less than 21% of attacks are reported to the authorities