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Ransomware is on the rise – why you should remind your team some web basics

Ransomware is on the rise with more than 4000 victims per day in the US alone. It’s a growing problem which you can mitigate with some explaining.

The figure is according to the IT security company Cyence,. The firm also says that the average ransomware sum is between $500 and $1000. But that’s only when the victim is an individual.

More and more hackers are now starting to target companies and enterprises with their ransomware. The asking sum then becomes quite bigger. Earlier this year a hospital in the US fell victim to ransomware with the hackers demanding $30 000 or they would delete the patient database. In the end, the hospital paid $17 000 for the release of the data.

Easy money for hackers

The FBI also notes that the ransomware attacks are on the rise. And they bring very high additional costs to the companies. The agency says that just for the first three months of this year, the US companies have already lost $209 million in costs dealing with ransomware and the aftermath. For comparison, the exact same losses for 2015 were just $24 million. Now on average one company loses about $333 000 per ransomware incident, indirect losses included.

The analysts expect the trend to continue. Ransomware has the potential to become one of the preferred methods for hackers. Companies are especially vulnerable since hackers feel they are more likely to pay and do it quicker. After all the companies can’t afford to be without their data for long, since they risk losing clients and business.

Companies are easy targets for ransomware. This technique relies mostly on social engineering and infected emails. Since most company employees deal with a vast amount of email every day from various senders, they are usually more likely to lower their attention and open emails and attachments from people they don’t know.

This is why it’s especially important to remind your team from time to time about the risks of opening attachments from unknown senders. You should remind your team they should always pay attention to the emails and notify the IT department if they have any suspicions about an email or a file.

Also, the people can try to verity the file with the sender. For example send them a quick reply asking them if they sent that email or not. This would work best for senders you have already communicated with before and see that this email somewhat defers from their usual style for example.

Of course, it goes without saying that your network, computers and software should be well secured and up-to-date with the latest software. Also, keep safe backups of the data and have an action plan in place just in case disaster strikes.