Ransomware IT security

Ransomware update: Cyber thieves now have new ways of holding your computer hostage

Although malicious software like ransomware is nothing new to the IT world, it continues to be a growing threat to businesses and their revenue. Hence, it’s important to know what you’re up against and how you can stop it.

Here are three key things you need to know when it comes to understanding how ransomware can damage your business and how you can protect yourself from it.

1. Ransomware can target your business

Even with existing protective measures in place, ransomware is able to target and attack organisations of all sizes by using threats like Cryptowall, Locky and TeslaCrypt.

By releasing multiple versions of malicious software, ransomware developers can target your computers and encrypt all the data on it, making it inaccessible.

Businesses are then held at ransom, which can vary depending on the size of the business. The payment is typically in a digital currency such as one bitcoin (around $1,000) and is used in exchange for the encryption keys to gain access to your data.

2. No one is immune

It has long been recognised that Mac users have been able to avoid ransomware attacks, especially in comparison to their PC rivals. This is no longer the case. There have been recent discoveries of a new type of ransomware software that is targeting Apple users.

KeRanger has been able to successfully bypass Apple’s Gatekeeper protection and is posing as a large threat to Mac users that have installed the OS X platform. This is especially bad news to those who illegally download, as KeRanger is being spread through torrenting software.

3. Ransomware is becoming cleverer

­New ransomware variants are common, but recent findings made by security researchers from MalwareHunterTeam have uncovered a highly innovative and quite nasty ransomware variant. Popcorn Time malware, which is still in development, offers their victims two approaches to unlocking their files.

Like other ransomware, Popcorn Time malware will unlock your files in exchange for a cash payment, such as a bitcoin. However, they also offer you a second option in order to decrypt your files. If you pass on a link of the malware to two or more people and make them install the virus and pay the ransom, you will have your files decrypted for free.

But there is also a twist. When you receive the decryption key to regain access to your files – after you pay up or infect others – you only have four chances to correctly enter the code before the encryption key deletes itself.

How to prevent ransomware

If you’re not prepared for a ransomware attack, your business could suffer greatly. There are several types of software security products and solutions available that can stop ransomware in its tracks. But it’s important to know which one is best for you, as classic antivirus file scanning no longer cuts it.

If your business is after a holistic security protection solution then Sophos is for you. Sophos Endpoint Protection + Intercept X ensures that everything from prevention, detection, and response is covered in next generation anti-exploit, anti-ransomware, root cause analysis and advanced system clean.

Sophos also offers the best in class anti-malware solutions to guarantee you that vulnerable software is protected, effective ransomware detection is in place, synchronised security is available and your web, application and device policies are seamlessly managed.

Get in contact with Virtunet to talk about how Sophos solutions could protect your business from malicious software like ransomware.

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