Leverage Technology to Scare Away Ransomware Hackers

Ransomware attacks are on the rise and increasingly targeting businesses. Learn why your company is such an appealing target and how to protect your business  

Does your San Francisco business have a strategy to prevent crippling ransomware attacks? If not, your company is increasingly vulnerable to attacks that can leave your business ground to a halt, financially exposed and at risk of losing existing and future business.

Ransomware is a growing issue for small- and medium-sized businesses across industries. Ransomware attacks usually occur when an unsuspecting user on your network clicks on an email that contains a rogue attachment or link. Clicking on those items launches a malware program that infects your company’s computer systems. The software locks you out of your website and files, blocking access until a ransom, usually in the form of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, is paid.

How Bad is Ransomware in the United States?

According to a recent study, the United States accounted for 13.6 percent of all ransomware attacks worldwide in the middle of 2019, behind only Indonesia and India. The attacks are also increasingly asking for larger amounts.

“Like other businesses, criminal enterprises seek to maximize their profits and charge as much as they can for their “services.” If one organization is willing to pay to $500,000, the next may be willing to pay $600,000,” noted Emsisoft, which conducted the study.

Malwarebytes found in its own study that businesses are an increasingly friendly target for hackers, growing 235 percent quarter over quarter in cyber threats with ransomware “a major contributor” to the growth.

“Ransomware, which many researchers have noted took a long breather after its 2016 and 2017 heyday, is back in a big way—targeting businesses with fierce determination, custom code, and brute force,” noted Malwarebytes.

Trend Micro reported that they identified 41 million ransomware attacks between January and April 2019, about the same level of attacks as 2018.

separate study shows the increasingly dangerous sophistication of ransomware attacks. Hackers are now using fileless vectors to launch ransomware attacks, making it even more difficult to combat these attacks. Through the first half of 2019, fileless ransomware attacks were at 710,000, an 18 percent increase over the same period in 2018.

What Are the Most Common Types of Ransomware Attacks?

Ransomware is a blanket term for several types of attacks. The most common include:

  • Scareware. These scams often take the form of pop-up messages that claim that malware is on your computer and that the only way to solve the issue is to pay up. If you refuse, an incessant stream of pop-up windows appears. hile the intent is to scare a user into payment, in most cases your files are safe.
  • Screen Lockers. These attacks lock your screen, leaving you helpless, unable to access files or use apps. Sometimes these attacks happen at startup when a screen pops up from an official-looking government agency. The screen claims that illegal activity has been detected on your computer and that you must pay a fine to recover access.
  • Encryption. These are among the most devastating attacks because hackers grab your files, encrypt them and refuse to release them until the ransom is paid in full. And if you don’t pay, your files are gone, allowing criminals to sell them or expose them.

How Can We Prevent Ransomware Attacks?

At EPC IT Solutions, we provide comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to San Francisco businesses. Our solutions include:

  • Comprehensive security assessments
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Network perimeter firewall monitoring
  • Anti-malware, anti-virus and anti-spam software solutions
  • Employee training on how to avoid phishing scams
  • Local access to expertise and help-desk services

Contact us to learn more about how EPC IT Solutions can help with ransomware recovery in San Francisco and keep your business safe.