For the past several years, ransomware has been a major thorn in the sides of businesses. Hackers that were once known for “hacking” into networks, changed tactics when encryption just got too strong. Today, these “hackers” use confidence tactics to gain access to accounts. Once they’re in, their strongest tool is ransomware. Let’s look at what makes ransomware so dangerous and how your company can combat the constant attacks that come your way.
Being on the receiving end of a ransomware attack is terrifying. First, you log into your computer as usual only to find that files, drives, or even network attached resources are completely inaccessible. What’s worse is that staring you in the face is a ticking clock and a message saying that you need to pay a ransom in Bitcoin or else the files, drives, or network resources will be gone forever. It’s not a great situation. Many organizations (including entire municipalities) have suffered from this and have been forced to pay the ransom only to get hacked again days or weeks later (we don’t recommend you try to negotiate with hackers).
Ransomware doesn’t just get onto business networks and into endpoints, it needs help. Phishing is commonly used to assist it. Phishing is a term used to describe a social engineering attack strategy where scammers attempt to use subterfuge and deceit to make people provide access to computing systems and networks via email, instant message, telephone calls, and any other type of commonly used communication.
Cybercriminals have taken to pairing these attacks together to con as many people as they can. If someone on your business’ computing network incidentally clicks on a link or unpacks an attachment that looks benign on the surface, but deploys this nefarious code, your business may be in big trouble.
There are some warning signs that a message is a phishing attempt. They include:
Your employees will need to be very cautious before clicking links and opening attachments in emails. Here are some steps that need to be taken:
Phishing is the most prevalent vector of attack used today. You will want to ensure that your staff is able to identify these scams and report them to avoid any unwanted circumstances.
If you need help with training your staff about phishing messages and the dangers of ransomware give us a call today at 301-571-5040.