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Ransomware - How a Single Online Mistake Can Ruin Your Life

2021-07-20
9

One Online Mistake Article

Americans, before the Colonial Oil ransomware attack, might have been forgiven to ask, “How can ransomware ruin my life?” or “What exactly is ransomware prevention?” In so many ways! The largest power company in Brazil, Eletrobras, was attacked by ransomware in February 2021, losing company data and suffering widespread shut-down. Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and the Philippines subsidiaries of insurance giant AXA suffered a ransomware attack earlier this year, and a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, thrown in for good measure.


Ransomware affects our lives in very real ways. From supply chain and gas services to our power, we rely on the same systems cyber-criminals rely on to be victims. It’s time to take your cyber-security seriously. Just one wrong click is all an attacker needs to get all your personal information, and all the personal information from your company – never a good look. Let’s explore a few ways you could potentially infect your computer, and thus your company, with ransomware.


Phishing Emails

Phishing emails are the most common way ransomware gets into a system. Clicking on a malicious link is easy, especially when you aren’t paying attention. Take links seriously and don’t click on any link that isn’t provided by a trusted colleague, associate or friend. The statistics are dire on phishing – so beware!


  • Phishing attempts grew by 65% in 2017. (Source: Dashlane blog)
  • Phishing is the cause of 90% of data breaches (Source: Retruster.)
  • Nearly 1.5 million phishing sites are created each month. (Source: Dashlane blog)
  • 92% of malware is delivered via email. (Source: Alert Logic)
  • In 2017, the average user received an average of 16 phishing emails per month. (Source: Alert Logic)

Website Pop-Ups

Not all website pop-ups are harmful, but be careful not to click on them! Be wary of all pop-ups, and never click on one without thinking clearly of the consequences. They are annoying, but the avenue to rid yourself of them is your security settings, not by clicking on the link!


To manage notifications manually on Chrome, access the notification settings in Chrome, and click on the three vertical dots in the upper right section. Then click on Settings → Privacy and security → Site Settings → Notifications.


Drive-By Downloads

Attackers will nestle within the code of a legitimate website, waiting to drive-by download into your computer when you visit the site. You might not even know that you’ve been re-directed until it’s far too late. Threat detection software is an easy way to protect your system from infection by this type of attacker. Watch out for any strange page formats or odd IP addresses, to ensure you don’t end up getting hit with ransomware.


It’s time to think about ransomware prevention.


Ransomware Prevention

Yes, ransomware is everywhere and it can ruin your life and drain your bank account. But all hope is not lost. There are several easy steps you can take to boost your ransomware prevention capabilities. Take a look…


Avoid Unverified Links

If you didn’t ask for the link, don’t click on it. Never click on links in unsolicited emails, even those with recognizable names, and don’t click on links from unfamiliar websites. If you aren’t sure if you are dealing with a safe site, run it through a free online scanner to check the legitimacy.


Update OS & Software

You must always keep your OS and software updated to the latest versions. There are always links in the IT chain when programs are written, meaning every program has vulnerabilities and gaps in security. As these are found, patches are released for both your OS and your software. Keep all your devices updated for the latest ransomware prevention.


Use Professional Security

Professional security is where you will find the threat detections software you need to keep your business and employees safe. Consider asking your IT department if they are using an older model firewall, or a next generation firewall, like Sangfor’s NGAF. Or ask if they’ve gone further, as many recommend, and deployed a “NDR,” or network detection and response platform. Before you dismiss the idea, consider this list of things that the proper cyber security solution protects.


  • Personal Info
  • Employee Info
  • Productivity
  • Bandwidth
  • Business Data

You might not care about one or two, but we guarantee you care about at least a few! Ransomware is unfortunately here to stay. It’s not a passing phase, and it’s beginning to affect our quality of life. When businesses are too busy fighting off attackers to provide great products, or lose so much money in an attack that they go down permanently, we will start to take it personally. Take threat detection and ransomware prevention seriously! And contact a professional at Sangfor with any questions.