The largest data threat of 2016 is ransomware, or crypto viruses. Companies need to ensure that they protect themselves and educate their employees about this threat. The Milwaukee BizTimes published an article this week saying, “At the end of March 2016, 93 percent of all phishing emails contained encryption ransomware, up from 56 percent in December and less than 10 percent every other month in 2015.”
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. These attacks can be against individuals, but typically they are targeted at companies because the payoff can be higher. In their article, “Incidents of Ransomware on the Rise,” the FBI says that “Ransomware attacks are … becoming more sophisticated. Several years ago, ransomware was normally delivered through spam e-mails, but because e-mail systems got better at filtering out spam, cyber criminals turned to spear phishing e-mails targeting specific individuals.”
The phishing emails from cyber criminals can spoof law enforcement agencies, service providers, delivery companies, government agencies or they can even look like they’re from your operating system claiming that you need an update. The BizTimes recommends that employees get trained on best practices to avoid crypto viruses. Make sure that they only open attachments from known sources, be wary of .exe files, if their computer suddenly gets an increase in pop-up ads or seems overly sluggish then they should report it to their IT departments as soon as possible.
IBM says that internal attacks from either malicious insiders or inadvertent actors accounts for up to 60% of the corporate infections that they see. They also claim that in 2015, the top marketplaces to fall victim to ransomware attacks are:
- Financial Services
If your company does get infected, the FBI should be informed immediately. Report it to your local FBI field office and report the incident to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. They do not recommend paying the ransom because paying it doesn’t guarantee that you will receive your data back. In some cases, you may get some but not all of it.
Keeping your data safe and having offsite backups is the most important security measure. The FBI recommends that you “Secure your backups. Make sure they aren’t connected to the computers and networks they are backing up.” Working with a secure data center that uses the latest in Internet security and malware scanning is a must. Vaultas can help guide you through this process, and keep your data safe. For more information on how they can help, contact Vaultas today.