July 14, 2017

Ransomware, the biggest online security threat

Ransomware, the biggest online security threat Dallas, Plano and Frisco businesses face today

Trojan-viruses, malware and other threats are crawling all over the Internet with the most recent being ransomware.  Companies of all sizes that use a computer connected to the Internet are all susceptible to these threats, and every business should take every precaution possible to limit their vulnerability.

The new wave of ransomware we’ve seen in the last couple years is just the beginning as black hats, malicious states and immoral companies continue to develop new ways of inflicting havoc.  Fortunately, there are plenty of smart people and enterprises developing new ways to counter the ever-growing threats faced today.

Ransomware is cancer that will continue to multiply and grow in popularity

We think Ransomware will continue to grow and is the worst threat faced today.  Why?  Simply put, it can make the creator of the ransomware a lot more money than previously seen virus types.  Before, we had Trojan viruses that would allow the creator remote control access to your computer.  These compromised systems were used as slaves in a botnet the virus unwillingly had them join and then used to send Emails or perform Denial of Service attacks.  While Trojan viruses have ways of making an impact or even money for the virus creator, it’s nothing compared to the revenue Ransomware provides.

You probably already have a good idea of what Ransomware does, but to briefly sum it up. Once a computer becomes infected, the virus goes through all the “personal” files it can find and encrypts them, making them inaccessible until you pay the ransom fee and if lucky, given the decipher password.  The problem is, with systems attached to a company’s network, if that compromised computer has access to network shares located on the company file server, those files will also become encrypted.

  • Almost 50% of organizations have experienced Ransomware.
  • There were 56 thousand Ransomware infections in March 2016.
  • In 2015 the average ransom demand was $294, in 2016 that number has more than doubled to $679.
  • In the 1st quarter of 2016, $209 million was paid to Ransomware criminals.
  • 4 out of 5 organizations are confident their backups can provide them with a complete recovery without paying the ransom. However, less than half of the Ransomware victims fully recovered all their data from backups.

Email is the #1 delivery vehicle for ransomware

Sources: Osterman Research, Symantec, CNN, Barkly

How to protect your company from Viruses, Malware and Ransomware?

Educate your users on how to spot suspicious emails.  Regardless of how good your countermeasures are, and antivirus software is at stopping an infection, spotting suspicious emails and never clicking on their infectious links or attachments is the first and best form of protection.  With a brief company meeting in your conference room, we can quickly teach your employees to be smarter and have better detection and avoidance skills.

Employ a time-tested anti-virus and anti-malware security solution.  There are various levels of security a company can implement to mitigate digital threats. From standard computer installed anti-virus software, to more sophisticated gateway appliances, our network administrators and IT Consulting teams can help your business find the right solution.  We also provide one of the top anti-virus solutions for businesses as part of our IT Outsourcing and Managed IT Services.

Keep your systems up-to-date, this includes your operating system and installed third party software.  We can't stress enough the importance of keeping every server, computer, laptop, firewall, network switch, and 3rd party software updated with security patches as soon as they are released.  With our IT Outsourcing and Managed IT Services programs, we keep every device in your company patched with firmware and software updates.

Have a rock-solid nightly backup and disaster recovery plan.  We implement the latest technology backup and disaster recovery solutions for our clients as part of our IT Outsourcing and Managed Services programs.  We can also monitor your existing backup software to ensure the nightly jobs are completing 100% successfully.  On top of us tracking the daily backup jobs, we encourage our clients to audit the backup solution we manage by asking them to create a file on day one and allow the nightly backup to capture it.  On day two, they delete the file and call us to have it restored from the previous night's backup.  We ask our clients to do this at random and often, which provides both parties peace of mind.

Visit our contact us page to learn more about how our company can help you mitigate these threats and the cost savings our network security solutions provider.

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