A short note on ransomware.

News of a new OS X ransomware has brought ransomware to the forefront.  Indeed, TrendMicro thinks ransomware attacks are one of the biggest threats this year.  Why?  Despite increasing sophistication in prevention, according to Security Magazine, “greater numbers of inexperienced cybercriminals will leverage ransomware-as-a-service offerings which could further accelerate the growth of ransomware.”

And one way these criminals will attack your enterprise is through your employees.

According to Kaspersky, ransomware is

malicious software that infects your computer and displays messages demanding a fee to be paid in order for your system to work again. This class of malware is a criminal moneymaking scheme that can be installed through deceptive links in an email message, instant message or website. It has the ability to lock a computer screen or encrypt important, predetermined files with a password

As usual, the best tool is prevention: patched software, up-to-date firewalls, top-flight anti-virus software and, of course, excellent employee policies and education to prevent the introduction of malware onto your system and to mitigate its effects once it is there.

Another key tool in the fight is business continuity planning.  Without having built an adequately cyber-resilient organization, you may have to pay your attacker.  This includes understanding what your most sensitive data is, where it is stored and ensuring that you have the ability to do business using back ups or via alternative means.


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