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Serious security threats of today “Ransomware”

Serious security threats of today “Ransomware”

Today more than ever, security should be a priority for every business. Small and medium sized businesses are the ones who suffer most when under attack.

One of the most common ways to attack is to use security vulnerability in software in applications like Java, Adobe and operating systems, including the perceived invulnerable MAC OS. I am sure everyone remembers the 2 major vulnerabilities of 2014 making the headlines. The heart bleed in OpenSSL and the shell shock affecting all Unix based systems. The way to protect your business against these attacks is to always apply all security patches for all OS systems and applications.

Another type of attack which has been growing rapidly since 2014 is Ransomware. This is probably the most dangerous threat as it encrypts all files on the user’s computer and any storage available on the network. Ransomware usually spreads through emails with various attachments pretending to be a fax or an invoice. To protect yourself, never open emails which look suspicious, even if they come from someone you know. If you do make the mistake of opening one of these, you will start to see various types of files with decrypt in the name and when you open your file it won’t be readable. Time is precious as encryption is time consuming and not all files will be encrypted initially. Shut your computers and server down, including any network attached storage and call a specialist to help you stop further encryption. This is important as the encryption is sophisticated (RSA-2048) and is pretty much impossible to decrypt with the current technology available. Once your system is infected, the attacker will request a payment in bitcoins, which is an untraceable currency, to provide you with the decryption key. The only options to get your data back are to recover it from an uninfected backup or pay the ransom. The ransom increases with time and is only available for limited period until it gets destroyed. So please take action now and make sure you have a working backup before it’s too late. 

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