Cybercriminals have grown more brazen and ambitious in their ransomware attacks — when hackers hold their victims’ data hostage and demand a payment to release it. Increasingly, the attacks are targeting entire networks and cloud services, and not just individual computers. However, there are several ways organizations can help mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks, many of which we have already written about in previous articles as IT management best practices.
Ransomware may not claim as many victims as in the past, but earlier this year, the city of Atlanta discovered its potency. Ransomware – a computer attack that holds information hostage — can cause tremendous havoc.
Ransomware is a family of malware that blocks access to a PC, server or mobile device, or encrypts all the data stored on that machine. It's typically delivered via malicious email or infected third-party websites. To regain access or control of the data, the user must pay a ransom — typically via bitcoin. The encryption is unbreakable and simply removing the malware will not solve the problem. The victim is forced to pay for the unique software key that will unlock everything. Malwarebytes reports that 60 percent of all malware observed last year was ransomware.