How to protect your data against ransomware.

Author:Evans, Paul
Position:DATABASE AND NETWORK INTELLIGENCE: OPINION
 
FREE EXCERPT

Malware and cybercrime: a match made in heaven. But it's the malware that makes it particularly difficult to prevent. Between viruses, worms, adware and spyware, the IT manager has a near impossible task of data protection through blocking, routing, zoning, and scanning for threats and weaknesses in the company's network and software systems.

However, Ransomware can be especially debilitating, depending on the strength of the attacker's experience and the strength of your negotiator. Such an attack basically involves a program being installed, through a worm or virus that carries the program, on a computer and then locks it down thereby suspending any activities on the computer. Attackers then have access to your full system and can use this information to their advantage. No one is able to operate or bypass it unless they respond to the demands displayed on the screen--usually for vast sums of money.

Attackers Don't Discriminate

It isn't just large private organisations with vast sums of money that can fall victim to these kind of attacks. This was recently demonstrated when the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre in the US was caught unaware and held to ransom.

Unfortunately, this affected operations at the hospital for more than a week while officials scrambled to collect the bitcoins that were being extorted. News reports are unclear whether it was for the value of 17 000 USD or 3.4 million USD, but regardless they had to pay.

Complying with attackers' demands is usually the path of least resistance, and has a fairly predictable result. Unfortunately, you end up on the losing side of this little power play. So a far better approach would be to even out the odds between you and the attacker by being prepared. Besides the blocking, routing, zoning, and scanning for threats, an effective data protection solution will save the day.

A Better Data Protection Solution

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