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To Pay or Not to Pay? Ransomware During COVID-19

To Pay or Not to Pay? Ransomware During COVID-19

Paying the ransom from a ransomware attack is one of those things that people go back and forth on. Should they pay it, or shouldn’t they? It is usually advised not to pay ransoms. But with these unprecedented times, businesses may have no other choice. Because of the pandemic, businesses are already struggling to stay open, never mind having a ransom held over their heads. 

Just as COVID-19 has weakened balance sheets, it has also weakened IT infrastructures. With some many people working from home, remote networks have been hastily set up across the country. When misconfigured or left unprotected, these networks provide hackers a perfect opportunity to sneak in undetected.

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Garmin Hacked: A Cybersecurity Lesson for Your Business

Garmin Hacked: A Cybersecurity Lesson for Your Business

Running a business poses many challenges, and while all need to be taken seriously, some are of greater importance than others. If, for instance, your company has cash flow problems, that’s urgent. In fact, it’s why 82% of small business failures occur. Just as urgent but more invisible to the naked eye is security. Security needs to be a top priority for any business because, like it or not, you’re already under attack. Cybercriminals don’t wait around. They don’t ask politely to see if you’re ready before they start sending phishing emails and trying to compromise your employees’ accounts. They also have no issue holding your systems hostage. Unfortunately, Garmin found this out firsthand. 

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Business Ransomware Increases by 500%. 5 Tips to Make Sure You Aren’t Next.

Business Ransomware Increases by 500%. 5 Tips to Make Sure You Aren’t Next.

Originally published as "Tip of the Week: Ransomware is Exploding, is Your Business Ready for the Blast?"

When it comes to internet threats, ransomware is the one that causes the most fear, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, and the fear is based in reality.  According to the Malwarebytes 2019 Cybercrime Tactic’s and Techniques report, in comparison to last year, the rise of business ransomware has increased over 500%. It’s time to make sure that you’re doing what you can to stop your business from becoming another ransomware statistic. Here are five good tips that will help you avoid becoming a victim of the next big ransomware attack.

 

1. Get Smart: You and your employees are the first line of defense against ransomware - and all malware. You need to invest time to educate yourself and your employees about the dangers and consequences of an attack, and best practices to protect yourself, your data and your network from a cyber threat. Keep yourself apprised of the best ways to prevent victimization.
2. Back It Up: Regularly backing up data is the most effective way to prevent losing your data from ransomware. If a ransomware attack does find its way onto your network, you have a copy of that network and data backed up in its entirety from just a few minutes before. 96% of companies with a trusted backup and disaster recovery plan were able to survive ransomware attacks. The copy of your backup shouldn’t be stored on the infected network.
3. Keep Security Software and Patches Up-to-Date: New ransomware is always being introduced. New variants of malware are always being created, which threaten your network. Luckily, your operating system and software are always working overtime to come up with ways to keep your data and network security. Updating your security software and paying attention to patches is a great way to make sure that you’re protected when ransomware strikes.
4. Beware of Email: One of the primary methods of ransomware transmission and infection is email. According to Proofpoint researchers, nearly 30% of the most targeted malware and phishing attacks were directed at generic email accounts, like . Users should be cautious of any email that is unsolicited or unexpected, particularly if there is a link or attachment.
5. DON’T PAY THE RANSOM: Paying ransom is no guarantee that you’re going to get your data back. The first payment is often a gateway to increasing demands and your data is still gone. Don’t Pay the Ransom! Instead of paying the criminals who have hijacked your data - contact your IT service provider and let them know what is going on.

That is just for starters - for those of you who want to make sure they’re doing everything possible to reduce their chance of contracting ransomware, reach out to our security experts today at (508) 453-4700.

It’s estimated that ransomware attacks will reach 11.5 billion annually by 2019, and that number only includes those who pay the ransom. Imagine if everyone who was attacked paid their ransom. Are you familiar with these five ransomware tips? Is there anything else you have found to be effective? Let us know in the comments below.

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Ransomware Shuts Down Doctors’ Office - Is Your Business Protected?

Ransomware Shuts Down Doctors’ Office - Is Your Business Protected?

Let me ask you a question… let’s say that you’re about one year from your projected retirement, and a ransomware attack encrypts all of your files. What do you do? Pack it in and retire early? This is precisely the situation that the practitioners of Brookside ENT & Hearing Services of Battle Creek, Michigan, have found themselves in.

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Newspapers Across the United States are the Latest to be Hit by Malware

Newspapers Across the United States are the Latest to be Hit by Malware

Over the weekend, a form of ransomware hit major US news outlets, labeled as “Ryuk”, and is causing major disruptions to their printing schedules and affecting the published information. Tribune publishing detected malware on its servers on Friday which had spread through the company’s network for multiple newspapers that shared Tribune’s platform. Ryuk was recognized due to the corrupted files with a signature extension “.ryk.” The news outlets in questions include well-known names such as the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, and San Diego Union-Tribune.

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The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The funny thing about ransomware is that they give them very strange names: Bad Rabbit sounds like the name of a villainous bunny who gets his comeuppance in some type of modern nursery rhyme, not malware that would ravage hundreds of European businesses. Locky seems like the son of Candado de seguridad, a character Medeco would come up with to educate kids on proper physical security. The latest in a long line of funny-named ransomware, SamSam, isn’t a pet name for your pet ferret you perplexingly named Sam, it is one of the worst ransomware strains ever, and it has caught the attention of U.S. Federal law enforcement.

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Targeted Ransomware Checks for Particular Attributes

Targeted Ransomware Checks for Particular Attributes

Put yourself in the shoes of a cybercriminal. If you were to launch a ransomware attack, who would be your target? Would you launch an indiscriminate attack to try to snare as many as you could, or would you narrow your focus to be more selective? As it happens, real-life cybercriminals have largely made the shift to targeted, relatively tiny, ransomware attacks.

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30 Schools Shut Down In Montana After Cyber Attack

30 Schools Shut Down In Montana After Cyber Attack

Students generally love it when classes are cancelled for whatever reason, but thanks to a cybercriminal group called TheDarkOverlord Solutions, a school in Flathead Valley, Montana was disrupted for an extended period of time. This downtime resulted in a disruption of operations for over 30 schools, as well as the threat to the personal information of countless teachers, students, and administrators due to a ransomware attack.

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Would You Share Your Browser History? This Ransomware Will

Would You Share Your Browser History? This Ransomware Will

Ransomware is a tricky piece of malware that locks down the precious files located on a victim’s computer, then (in theory) will return access to them when a ransom has been paid. Depending on the files stored on a victim’s computer, they might simply blow it off and not worry too much about losing access to a couple of pictures or videos--but what if this ransomware threatened to expose your web browsing history?

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What We Have Learned Since the WannaCry Attack

What We Have Learned Since the WannaCry Attack

How would you feel if your important doctor’s appointment had to be canceled due to a computer lockdown? That’s what happened when many state-run medical facilities in the United Kingdom came to a halt when a ransomware attack encrypted files on their network computers. Thousands of operations and medical appointments were called off as the attack hit the National Health Services, making them one of the biggest victims of WannaCry.

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Software Patches Take on New Importance After the WannaCry Ransomware Fiasco

Software Patches Take on New Importance After the WannaCry Ransomware Fiasco

On May 11th, 2017, the world was introduced to the WannaCry ransomware. The ransomware spread around the globe like wildfire, infecting hundreds of thousands of devices and catching many major organizations and businesses by surprise. The full extent of the ransomware’s damage is still being assessed, yet, one thing we do know: this whole fiasco was preventable.

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Getting Greedy: Ransomware Hackers are Asking for Way More Money

Getting Greedy: Ransomware Hackers are Asking for Way More Money

If fiscal reasons have stopped you from securing your network against ransomware thus far, you may want to reconsider your strategy. Not only are attacks still becoming more and more prevalent, but the developers of ransomware have lowered the price of admission for aspiring cyber criminals. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to keep your business protected against a ransomware attack.

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Important! Defend Yourself from Largest Ransomware Outbreak in History

Important! Defend Yourself from Largest Ransomware Outbreak in History

A new ransomware called “WannaCry” is spreading rapidly around the world, with reports that on May 12, 2017, people in 74 countries have been hit with more than 45,000 reported attacks. The outbreak is focused in Russia and Europe, but has spread rapidly to all parts of the globe.

Cyber-security experts are saying although the attack has been halted over the weekend that we can expect to see another large scale attack as early as today (Monday, 05/15/2017).

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A Look Back at 2016’s Biggest Cyber Security Stories

A Look Back at 2016’s Biggest Cyber Security Stories

2016 saw many notorious data breaches, along with developments in malware and other threats to security. It’s always helpful to reflect on these developments so that the knowledge can be used in the future to aid in developing new strategies for taking on the latest threats. How will your business learn from the mistakes of others in 2017?

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Some Evil Genius Just Combined the Pyramid Scheme With Ransomware

Some Evil Genius Just Combined the Pyramid Scheme With Ransomware

The ransomware machine keeps moving forward, despite significant opposition. In particular, the ransomware tag-team duo of Petya and Mischa have steamrolled most attempts to block them from accessing critical systems, always finding ways to outsmart security professionals. Now, these ransomwares have adopted a Ransomware as a Service model, which has made significant changes to the way that this ransomware is distributed.

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Ransomware: A Hated Malware With an Intriguing Past

Ransomware: A Hated Malware With an Intriguing Past

The short, yet devastating, history of ransomware is littered with what amounts to individual horror stories. As you may well know, ransomware, is a particularly devious and potentially devastating strain of malware that, when enacted, locks a computer’s files down so that the user can’t access them. In their stead, a message is relayed that instructs them to contact a third party to pay a ransom for access to the files. This is where the threat gets its name.

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Alert: Fake Email Invoices Contain Ransomware

b2ap3_thumbnail_ransmoware_article_400.jpgRansomware is still on the rise, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation has labeled it as one of the biggest dangers to businesses of all kinds. Compared to other methods of spreading malware, ransomware has a unique return on investment that keeps hackers wanting more. One new variant of ransomware uses a phishing attack that’s tailored to your real-world address, which is exceptionally concerning for victims.

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New Mac-Targeting Ransomware is a Real Bad Apple

b2ap3_thumbnail_iphone_ransomware_400.jpgRansomware has been spreading like wildfire over the past few years, but up until very recently, Mac users were spared from this troubling development. Now, security researchers at Palo Alto Networks have discovered what they believe to be the first instance of completed ransomware on an Apple device. As this threat is “in the wild,” Mac users should be wary of it and see it as a potential threat.

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