Ransomware: What it is & How to Defeat it

By now most people have heard of ransomware.  You may not understand it, but you know enough to know that you don’t want it. The city of Atlanta is currently in crisis, because of being hit with ransomware. Various systems including payroll and transport in the city have been affected. While I can’t comment on how the attack on Atlanta happened as investigators are still on scene analyzing the issue, I’m certain more information will come in the following days.  Being only 4 hours away from ATL (in Mt. Pleasant, SC just outside of Charleston), this is hitting close to home. What is Ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malware.  It runs through a computer or network encrypting files as to make them inaccessible to others and then displays a message demanding a ransom in order to decrypt those files so they may be used again.  Once the payment is made, the key to unlocking those files may or may not be given to the victim.  Statistics show only 20% of businesses that pay the ransom to get the key to unlocking their documents.  Incidents of ransomware can typically take 2-5 days to remediate.1  How long could your business be down?  How much would it cost you? What You Can Do Now Patching Many threats can be mitigated by patching systems.  Make sure you patch all of your systems as your entire network is only as strong as your weakest link.  Hackers and Cyber Criminals aren’t looking for the hardest way in; they’re looking for the easiest.  Patching systems isn’t fun or sexy for IT, but it’s something that can be managed...
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