Were you one of the companies affected by the recent WannaCry ransomware attack, or have you heard horror stories about someone who was? In that case, you’ll be all too aware of how destructive such malicious activity can be to a business, and this infographic from Exigent Networks lays bare how deeply ransomware attacks can impact targeted companies.
Ransomware is one of the most harmful forms of black hat hacking, as it is near-impossible for a victim to avoid the problem once they are targeted. Essentially, the user receives a message which looks perfectly normal but contains lethal malware that encrypts files on their computer once the attachment is downloaded. The only way the user can retrieve access to their file is to pay a set ransom within a specified timeframe to a hacker who might not even return the files once the ransom is paid.
The common victims of ransomware attacks include not just multinational corporations, but also schools and hospitals, illustrating the frighteningly cold-hearted nature of those who instigate such attacks. Even though Internet users are becoming more careful about protecting themselves from being the victims of ransomware, they are struggling to keep pace with hackers who quickly find new ways of launching attacks that are deadlier than anything that has gone before.
While none of us are totally immune to ransomware attacks, there are ways in which we can reduce the possibility of falling victim. It starts with having your antennae up about opening email attachments. If it looks even remotely suspicious, do not open it. Delete the message straight away. Also, file backup is crucial. Save your most important files across multiple devices and hard drives. It helps to keep your computer updated, too. Those pop-ups prompting you to install updates can seem annoying, but they are there for a very good reason. Just ask anyone who has been hacked.
Find out more about how to protect yourself from ransomware attacks in the infographic below.