Real Scenario: One-day you boot up your laptop or office desktop expecting to see your normal screens and applications …and instead… you see a big read lock icon or other image demanding you pay $500 to an unknown party in the next 24-hours, or all your files will be irrevocably lost. Welcome to the world of “ransomware,” the latest method criminals are using to pull cash from the pockets of innocent victims and using it to fund other clandestine operations.
How do you protect yourself and what puts you at risk? E Street can show you.E Street customers know we provide straight answers to the ever complicated world of IT and our Internet products - we really recomend everyone defend themselves from these malicious programs.
Ransomware is a type of malware that attempts to extort money from a computer user by infecting or taking control of a victim’s machine or the files or documents stored on it. According to The Kaspersky Lab Security Bulletin Overall Statistics Report for 2015 ransomware was detected on 753,684 computers in 2015 and has continued to spread. Typically, the infection will either lock the computer to prevent normal usage, or encrypt documents and files preventing access to the saved data and will attempt to:
- Prevent you from accessing Windows and other devices.
- Encrypts files so you can’t use them.
- Stops certain apps from running.
Unlike hackers who attempt to steal data, ransomware criminals only attempt to prevent access to data. Because of this, businesses come to a grinding halt when hit by ransomware—and they don’t easily forget the experience. They may not have to pay a massive sum of money, but the residual costs, the reputational damage, the harm to their brand and the aggravation all serve to leave a lasting mark on the collective memory of any company hit by ransomware. When ransomware hits, it usually walks through a number of typical steps:
- Installs when the user opens a file, usually via email, IM, social network or by visiting a malicious site.
- Generates a pop-up window, web page or email warning from what looks like an official authority.
- Encrypts the user’s files with an AES-256, a randomly generated one-time key.
- Creates an individual encryption key for each file.
Our customers are encouraged to contact us for an evaluation of your current situation and go from there. For our Tech Services customers with IT maintenance plans we have a multi-pronged approach for your protection including:
- Encrypted backups for all server data (this is built-in already with many operating systems).
- Enterprise grade Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware such as Symantec Endpoint Protection™ and our monitoring.
- E Street Data Safe offsite Cloud Backups (pricing is per GB/mo) Encrypted incremental offsite backups for critical file disaster recovery.
- Install and configure Edge firewall devices with virus protection. This equipment is relatively inexpensive and newer devices have smart technology to proactively defend the devices they guard.
Call or click to check up on your current setups.
Lead Tech Services Engineer
E Street Communications
Proven, Powerful, Professional