Be afraid – very afraid – of Ransomware

If you’re not afraid of ransomware, you either haven’t thought about it or you thought about it enough to be very prepared for it. Ransomware is nothing but an electronic way of stealing money from you or your company, and it is surprisingly effective. Ask a few of your friends, and you will most likely find one or more of them has been a victim of ransomware and has either lost data or paid hundreds of dollars to retrieve it. Now that the purveyors of ransomware are discovering companies will pay tens of thousands of dollars to get their data back, the frequency and severity of attacks on companies will only increase.

Ransomware is malware that blocks you from accessing your own files (usually through encryption), and then connects you to a person who is holding those files hostage. Send the specified amount to the “kidnapper” and you get your files back. Victims pay the ransom with bitcoin or prepaid gift cards. Once getting paid, the hacker unlocks the files – maybe. The problem with dealing with those who would deploy such tactics is that you can’t trust them to deliver on their promises; they are criminals, after all. There have been multiple instances of individuals and companies that get demands for an additional ransom once the criminal realizes they have someone who will pay. It’s like blackmail. Once they know you will pay, they can just keep coming until they have everything.

It’s relatively easy to protect against ransomware if you focus on exactly how it behaves. But like every attack, you must understand your enemy and prepare defenses specifically for that enemy. Defense against ransomware falls into two categories: do everything you can to prevent ransomware from infiltrating your company, and do everything you can to be able to recover from a ransomware attack without paying ransom. Our on demand webinar covers both categories in detail and gives specific recommendations that will be very helpful for those trying to defend against ransomware

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W. Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) is an expert in backup & recovery systems; a space he has been working in since 1993. He has written three books on the subject, Backup & Recovery, Using SANs and NAS, and Unix Backup & Recovery. Mr. Preston is a writer and has spoken at hundreds of seminars and conferences around the world. Preston’s mission is to arm today’s IT managers with truly unbiased information about today’s storage industry and its products.

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