Ransomware Attacks: 2 Examples That Destroy Businesses

Business Cybersecurity

Each day, ransomware attacks target small businesses around the world. If you aren’t taking steps to protect your online data, you’re risking the life of your company. 

Online thieves are searching for businesses just like yours to steal information, and then force you to pay, in return for your data. What’s a small business to do?

Here are the main ways ransomware attacks occur and what you can do to help prevent these devastating attacks from happening to your small business.

Exploit Kits

The most sophisticated of the ransomware bunch, exploit kits do just that: exploit vulnerabilities within a computer system. Frequently, these exploit kits go into action when someone visits a website that’s been hacked or created with the sole purpose of stealing information. 

Malicious code hides within on-site advertising, sometimes referred to as a malvertisement, that then redirects the user to the exploit kit within a landing page. Sneaky and sly, it often goes unnoticed. When that happens, a download can occur, thus executing the malicious code to then infect the system, ending with data theft. To get it back, these cyber criminals will request payment, often in the form of untraceable bitcoin. 

Malicious E-Mail Attachments

Fake e-mails can be tricky. It’s no wonder that so many people fall victim to malicious e-mail attachments. These phishing e-mails appear to be from legitimate sources, sometimes within the same company, but a different branch. They may claim to be from the IT department or HR. These e-mails include a portable .exe file, a Word document or a .JS file. 

While the e-mail text will mention the need for updated information, clicking on the file activates a chain event. The malicious code within the file gets to work, blocking access to computer systems. Infection of the system then results in a demand for ransom. 

Should You Pay Ransomware Demands?

Many companies try to meet cyber criminals’ demands for payment. Sometimes, the data theft alone is enough to force a business to shutter entirely, especially as ransomware payment amounts increase. 

If you choose to pay ransomware settlements, there is no guarantee you will get your files back. Hackers may choose to up the cost of the ransomware or steal your money anyway, and then destroy your data. Sometimes, thieves publish the data. Can your small business handle that risk?

The best way to stop a ransomware attack is to put the right cyber tools into place to better protect your business. Fortinet, for example, offers high-performance security solutions for small to enterprise businesses. The cybersecurity vendor delivers antivirus software, intrusion prevention systems, physical firewalls and endpoint security components that protect your company from cyber threats.

The effects of a ransomware attack can be far-reaching. From current and former employees to suppliers and business partners, if you’ve been putting online safety on the back burner, it’s time to take the right steps to help prevent a ransomware attack. 

Online Protection From Ransomware

Now that you better understand the risks involved in ransomware, you need keep your small business safe. Be on the alert for fake e-mails, phishing schemes and false advertising. Maintain the security of your business by installing firewalls, educating employees about fake websites and backing up your important business data.  

Online criminals are looking for the easiest ways to exploit a business. Don’t let it happen to you. Take advantage of modern cyber security tactics to help add a layer of protection to your small business.

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