How Does Ransomware Spread? Key Things You Must Know

If you’re a website owner, it’s important you know what ransomware is. That’s because it can dismantle your business in a matter of minutes.

Protecting yourself against it requires a high level of knowledge and understanding of how it works.

Wondering, “how does ransomware spread, and what can I do to protect myself against it?” We’re here to help! Read on to learn everything you need to know about ransomware so you can take every precaution and preventative measure to protect your business.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that helps cyber criminals take your computer system hostage. It does this by locking you out of your computer system and denying you access to your data until you’ve paid the hacker’s ransom.

Any person with sensitive or valuable data on their computer or network is at risk of a ransomware attack. Generally, a trusted data recovery specialist can work around the hacker and restore your data, but in some cases, there’s nothing you can do but pay the hacker’s ransom.

And there’s no guarantee that your data will be restored even if you pay the ransom.

How Does Ransomware Spread?

The most common way hackers spread ransomware is through phishing emails, which are emails that trick you into giving away personal information and access. These emails grant the criminal access to your account and easily take your computer system and data hostage.

Thankfully, there are ways to recognize phishing attempts before they occur. If you receive an email that tries convince you to click something that seems suspicious or asks you for sensitive information that generally isn’t relayed over email, it could possibly be a phishing attempt. These messages often include generic greetings and typos.

To confirm it’s a real email, look for a legitimate domain email to confirm it’s coming from a real person.

In other scenarios, a hacker can spread ransomware through a drive-by downloading. This drive-by downloading occurs when a person visits a malicious website that downloads and installs the malware without their knowledge.

In a matter of hours or minutes, ransomware can take a massive toll on you and your business. It can disrupt your business’s regular operations, wipe your sensitive or proprietary data, and incur huge financial losses when it comes time to restore your systems and files.

How to Protect Yourself Against Ransomware

Ransomware is scary, but it doesn’t have to be inevitable. To prevent it, employ a data backup and recovery plan for all your truly sensitive data, and test these backups routinely to make sure they’re working.

Stay up to date on the latest anti-virus software and scan all your existing software. Enable strong spam filters to prevent phishing emails and scan incoming and outgoing emails to detect threats in advance. You may also want to configure firewalls so you can easily block any malicious IP addresses, and invest in phishing awareness training to spot any well-crafted emails that make it past these other security measures. 

Ready to Protect Yourself Against Ransomware?

Ransomware is to blame for a number of cyber-attacks and businesses going broke. Don’t let you become one of those businesses that didn’t invest in the cybersecurity of your company. Now that you know the answers to the question ‘how does ransomware spread, and what can I do to protect myself against it”, you can implement the proper strategies to keep your company safe!

Contact us to see how we can help you secure your organization’s online presence. 

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(417) 413-4005