As time passes and technology evolves, viruses and rogueware continue to advance and become more sophisticated. “Scareware” and “ransomware” are two terms that are coming up more and more in offices across the United States.
These are two forms of rogueware that have actually turned into an industry worth over $100 million dollars for the con artists that are behind them. You might be familiar with these tactics — maybe you encountered them and didn’t even know they had a name.
Scareware consists of prompts that appear on your computer, claiming that it has been infected with a certain virus and that the user must call a phone number or submit money online to have it fixed. In reality, there is no virus, but the person on the other end of the phone will gladly take your money to “fix” the problem.
This tactic in and of itself is completely unethical, but nefarious internet users all over the world have upped the ante with additional forms of ransomware.
What is ransomware?
Scareware is a more toned down version of ransomware — it’s generally easy to get passed. In some cases, you can just ignore the bogus virus alerts and go on your merry way.
However, ransomware can include some really damaging and disruptive stuff. The following are a few cases.
- Ransomware can lock up your screen or computer, presenting the user with another bogus prompt about how they either have a virus or it might go so far as to say their computer is in violation of some federal law.
- Even more invasive, some ransomware can invade your computer and encrypt personal files. As the user, you will not be able to access your own files unless you send payment.
- Oh, but these online criminals can stoop even lower. In some cases of ransomware, pornographic images or advertisements are embedded on a computer and will only be removed if a payment is submitted.
Almost needless to say, when this form of rogueware strikes a business, it can mean some really bad news. And, that’s what’s happening. Rogueware is considered a growth industry and more and more businesses are faced with it each year.
Ransomware and your business network
Introducing ransomware onto a work computer is as easy as being tricked into clicking on an infected web ad or visiting a certain website. Ransomware can take its toll on a business network in a number of ways.
- Money spent on ransom
- Sensitive information may become compromised
- Network downtime
- Data loss
- And more
Many businesses opt to simply pay the ransom to save their companies hours, days or weeks of downtime. They also fear that the sensitive information of their company is at risk.
Protect your business from ransomware
Businesses can mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack by taking a variety of measures. Some of these include:
- Practicing caution when using the internet
- Implementing anti-virus software and a firewall
- Having a data backup and disaster recovery plan in place
- Contacting authorities (this is very much a crime)
DKBInnovative works hard to bring security to the businesses that we work with. Our team offers managed IT services that help avoid ransomware and the multitude of other threats on the internet.
Don’t let ransomware plague your business network. Contact DKBInnovative to see if your network is safe.
Stay safe out there!