THE HUNDRED-THOUSAND-DOLLAR MOUSE CLICK

in StemSocial11 months ago

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Ransomware has unquestionably been the most severe security concern in 2021. Everyone was in danger. Hackers attacked everyone and everything – and they were shockingly successful. In fact, it is predicted that they will collect upwards of $6 trillion from instances recorded worldwide.

Hackers are doing well, with thousands of attacks and each raking in an average of $133,000 per business. But, perhaps more concerningly, the financial cost of each individual assault is increasing - the more ransomware shows to be a lucrative source of revenue for them, the more they want each time.

They Like to Play the Good Guy

Some hackers offer to rescue you from urgent peril for a price to make a fast buck. One technique is to fool you into believing you have a virus that will spread if you don't pay money to eliminate it right away. Another far worse way is to pose as the FBI and claim that your computer was involved in a crime (anything from money laundering to child pornography). Then, by paying a few hundred dollars, you can escape going to prison.

Every day, thousands of ordinary individuals wake up to find that they have been locked out of their own data. Entire music and movie collections, digital images from the previous five years, personal budget data, and even a secret manuscript draft...all kept prisoner until the user pays a ransom. Unfortunately, encryption is so powerful and impenetrable that paying the ransom is sometimes the only option.

It's So Easy For Them

The method through which malware infiltrates your computer is deceptively easy. In most cases, the hackers persuade you to click on an email attachment/link or a pop-up. In both ways, the hacker generally provides "helpful" information, such as:

  • Tracking an unclaimed parcel
  • Alerting that a virus was found and needed to be removed
  • Advising details of a recent traffic fine

It's so tempting to click through for additional information, and that's exactly what the hackers hope for. Their messages and pop-ups aren't apparent threats. Therefore, they easily slip by us. Unfortunately, they're not the most trustworthy lot, thus paying may not truly unlock your files, and a single purchase might soon turn into numerous.

Even Your Backups Are At Risk

Worse, they can encrypt any backups attached to your computer, such as a USB drive. Of course, in any circumstance, having a backup is critical. Still, in situations like these, sufficient backup is required. Not only is one kept isolated from your network, but it was also made recently with all of the files you can't stomach losing. However, before restoring your backup, you must ensure that the ransomware isn't lurking in the background, waiting to re-infect not just your recovered data but also the backup disk itself.

Watch Those Email Attachments

To prevent being up to your waist in ransom requests or handing hackers money every month, we recommend being vigilant of email attachments, even from friends and relatives. If you are unsure what the file is, do not open it. They may not have sent such email on purpose; their infected machine may have automatically emailed everyone in their contacts list. You should also be wary of any pop-ups that arrive out of nowhere, especially those that attempt to frighten you. Finally, if anything doesn't sound or appear correct, don't click it.

Conclusion

Ransomware is simply too risky to take a chance on.

Ensure your IT Security Management policies and IT processes support vulnerability management and Incident management and response.

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Joe "Rhino" Brochin is launching ITSM RHINO in the coming months, it is the pull-no-punches, casual-but-effective resource for renegade IT Pros who want to manage risk and add value through ITSM processes & IT Policy.
GET IN EARLY!

Note: All graphics within this post, including their images and elements, were sourced and generated from Canva.com, except when otherwise identified on the graphic.

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