Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents the user from accessing their computer or other device until a ransom is paid. We have provided some information on how to recognise ransomware attacks and how to prevent them.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is used by cybercriminals to encrypt data and files on your computer, who demand a ransom in exchange for decryption, usually a monetary value. Cybercriminals may also threaten to leak any data that they have access to. Victims of ransomware may not be able to access files or may find that their computer has been locked and they cannot access it at all.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Cybercriminals gain access to your device through networks that are usually unsecure. They install malicious software (malware) used to encrypt your computer, preventing the user from accessing it or its data when the malware has been activated. There will usually be an on-screen message demanding ransom from the user, saying that their device or data will be released when it is paid. Payment is usually a monetary value such as cryptocurrency, which is paid on an anonymous website.

Laptop with ransomware
What Should I Do If My Device Has Been Infected With Ransomware?

It is not recommended that you pay the ransom if you are a victim to ransomware. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will gain access to the data as you a relying on the cybercriminals being truthful. It also means that your device will still be infected, and you are more likely to be targeted in the future.
It is important that you inform your IT helpdesk team as soon as you notice your device has been affected to so they can run virus scans on other devices on the network and reduce the risk of more devices being targeted.

What Can You Do to Protect Your Data?

It is important that your business takes cybersecurity seriously to reduce the risk of attacks like these happening. It is vital that your data is backed up as securely as possible. This means having encrypted online cloud backups that are separate from the data stored on your computer. You should also ensure that your network and computers are secure with a firewall. Your IT helpdesk team may also monitor the health of your devices remotely and run regular antivirus scans to detect the malware before it has been activated. It is also important that your staff are trained to recognise malicious emails and websites, and avoid unnecessary downloads. By taking these steps, the risk of ransomware attacks at your business will be significantly reduced.

For advice on improving your business’s cybersecurity, speak to our IT support technicians.

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About Carrera UK

Carrera UK provide IT support, IT services, and telecoms to small businesses in Portsmouth & Southampton in Hampshire, and across the South of England.

We offer a complete suite of IT and telecoms service solutions for small and medium-sized businesses, including IT support, website design, social media management and cyber security.

We know how important IT is to your business and we will work hard as your trusted IT and telecom service provider to find the best solutions for you. Our IT support and solutions give you the assurance that your business technology will be robust, reliable, and cost-effective.

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