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Image courtesy of TrendMicro

Ransomware: What is ransomware and how could it damage my business?

There are a couple different types of ransomware, one encrypts all the data on your infected computer and very possibly every computer on your business network including your servers. It then asks you for money in bitcoin format. The other type is where they pop up and tell you that they have evidence that you did something and ask for money or the details will be sent to someone else. The reason is always fake, they might say that you cheated on your wife and they have pictures or that they have pictures of you watching porn… Then they ask for money to keep it secret. Ignore this second type completely! It is always fake.

In the early years of ransomware, the criminals asked for $200 – $500. The newer variants ask for more than $1000! The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and us at Quick MSP encourages you not to pay the ransom. If you do, not only are you giving organized crime money, you are encouraging them to make new variants that you could get infected with later. They make so much money that they usually have a support team that you can call/email if you have issues decrypting after you pay them!

This damage is a lot worse if you are a medical practice. According to HHS.gov (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) if you have ransomware, you MUST report it as unauthorized access or breach. OUCH! I’m not going to go much into HIPAA on this article, just something to be aware of. See number 5 on this PDF from HHS if interested.

Ransomware: How can I prevent it?

There are a few things you can do to prevent ransomware. You will need to work with your IT professional to implement these items.

  1. No user should be an administrator
  2. Use file system resource manager to detect and kill network shares that are getting infecting
  3. Have a good business grade router, see our internet security article
  4. Have an anti-virus program installed on every computer
  5. Use a anti-ransomware program like MalwareBytes Ransomware

Ransomware is constantly evolving and changing. There is no 100% prevention. It is up to you and your IT professional to keep up and modify security as needed.

Please contact us if you would like Quick MSP to secure your network!