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What is Ransomware?

You've probably heard of businesses around Acadiana falling prey to ransomware. We're here to bring you up to speed.

S1 Technology What is Ransomware Blog

Webster defines ransomware as a variety of malware that requires the victim to pay a ransom to access encrypted files. More simply, either by algorithmic malware design or by human intervention (bad guys hacking your network) this malicious software will spread throughout your network making your files and file servers unusable.


How does it happen?


Most often, cybersecurity breaches happen as a result of human error. 'Human error was a major contributing cause in 95% of all breaches' according to IBM's Threat Intelligence index. These human errors most often come in the form of phishing emails that hoodwink your employees into thinking an email is legit when it's really from Alexiei the hacker in Siberia.


All it takes is one employee to click a link that shouldn't and your network is at risk of being compromised. First, the bad guys will try to steal credentials (or drop a payload of malware) of whomever they can fool with their phishing attempts. Next, they will attempt to remotely command and control the compromised workstation while moving through the network to identify crucial workloads and user workstations. Once they've done their reconnaissance, they will have identified the highest profile targeted and begin dropping their encryption software until the entire network is under their control and encrypted beyond use.


Once all the files on the network are encrypted, the cybercriminals will drop a readme file that normally looks something like this. Most often, the bad guys' note will state most of the following: your files are encrypted, we have exfiltrated your data, if you don't pay we will delete your precious files and share your personally identifiable information on the dark web, pay us 1 bitcoin and we will remove all malware and decrypt your files.



How do you prevent it?


Ideally, you outfit your organization with a layered security approach that gives you the best chance to avoid ransomware. However, there really is no silver bullet in this game. All you can do is minimize your exposure and risk to a cybersecurity event.


Don't know where to start?


If you're flustered with all of this and and don't really know where to begin, hit us up. We'll be happy to start the conversation and let you know what your business needs to stay safe!