Cryptovirus is the most common form of ransomware. Among the many viruses and technological threats to both businesses and individuals, ransomware has grown to the point of infamy with over $1 Billion in ransoms for 2016. This dangerous form of malware encrypts the data on an infected system in an attempt to export a ransom to restore the files. All of these viruses pose a serious threat to a business if they should attack a computer.
Although different types of ransomware work in different ways, they all follow these general rules.
Files are Encrypted by Virus
A Certain Amount of Money (Ransom) is Demanded
Files are Returned if Ransom is Paid
Ransom is Generally Paid in Bitcoins (Cannot be Tracked)
People who Pay Get Attacked More Often
What Are the Costs to Businesses?
The estimated costs to businesses vary drastically. The FBI reported $200 Million reported instances of ransomware.
ZDNet reports that costs have reached $1 Billion dollars annually once you include unreported incidences. Here is their full article.
The above numbers do not include the full costs of downtime, resources and money spent for digital security.
Who is at Risk?
Despite popular belief, over 70% of ransomware targets small and medium businesses. This is due to numerous reasons.
First of all, Cybercrime focuses on “easy money”. Generally they scan for easy targets which makes companies that spend less money on security more vulnerable.
In addition, smaller companies provide more user control over their computers and want more flexibility. This, coupled with the lower spend, make them easier targets to the virus.
Furthermore, employees can be easily tricked into activating ransomware with very simple methods.
Opening an e-mail that looks legitimate
Opening an e-mail that appears to come from a friend
Fake web pages that mimics a real site
Free software downloads that include viruses
How do you Prevent Getting the Cryptovirus?
Unfortunately, the Crytpovirus is constantly being adapted to circumvent firewalls and other security measures just like a biological virus. This makes it especially difficult to prevent.
Since outages and downtime effect every company differently you need to determine the true cost of downtime to your organization. Tou may want to use a calculator by Datto. Understanding the true cost of downtime will help an organization determine a budget to prevent or recover from this type of disaster.
While you cannot completely eliminate the risk of ransomware and The Cryptovirus, here are a few IT best practices to mitigate the damage.
Keep all firewalls on the latest software version
Maintain an up-to-date Patch Management Policy
Maintain a corporate anti-virus with regular updates
Managed Items 2 and 3 through reporting
Perform regular (at least annually) 3rd party security audits
Have good, solid backups and preferably a disaster recovery device like the Siris from Datto.
If you need assistance with any of the above, please check out our Managed IT Support or call us at 1-800-9ASKICS.
Please also contact us for a Free IT Security Assessment or Datto Demo.