Advanced technology brings convenience and profit opportunities to business owners in Rhode Island and throughout the world. Along with progress, however, comes new ways for criminals to commit cybercrimes. Ransomware, which is a type of malware where criminals deny access to or threaten to publish data unless one pays a ransom, is on the rise. If you’re a small business owner in Rhode Island, you’ll want to learn as much as you can about this increasingly problematic trend so that you can protect your company’s data.
How does ransomware spread?
Cybercriminals typically use phishing emails, links and attachments to infect your computer with ransomware. In addition to these schemes, USB flash drives or unsafe websites can also spread this type of malware. Criminals will typically scope out your business first to determine whether they think it’s worth trying to attack.
One usually renders ransomware in one of two ways. Either hackers will encrypt a portion or all of your data, or they will cause you to face access denial. You will then receive messages stating that the only way to regain access or restore your data is to send a specific amount of money to the hackers.
Using a form of attack called “leakware,” hackers might also threaten to release your clients’ private information to the public as part of a ransomware attack.
Ransom payments often use Bitcoin
If you are under a ransomware attack, you’ll likely receive detailed instructions telling you to send money through an electronic means, such as Bitcoin. Hackers might demand a few hundred dollars or tens of thousands of dollars. It’s important to remember that paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee you that the hackers will decrypt your data or restore access to your computer files.
Between 2019 and 2020, it’s estimated that ransomware caused more than $1 billion in losses throughout the world. Perhaps you were one of those who suffered an attack.
What can Rhode Island business owners do to fight back?
Many Rhode Island business owners have faced ransomware and other cybercrimes in recent months. Such crimes often have the ability to paralyze a business, bringing all integral functions to a screeching halt, especially if criminals encrypted computer data and are threatening to keep it that way unless you send money.
Any business owner who is concerned about a cybercrime issue will want to speak with someone who is well-versed in cybersecurity issues to determine a best course of action to try to mitigate the circumstances.