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What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim's files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. The payment is typically made in a virtual currency such as Bitcoin, and the attackers may threaten to delete or publish the victim's data if the ransom is not paid. Ransomware attacks are often targeted at businesses and can cause significant disruptions and financial losses.

Who has ransomware effected?

Ransomware can affect individuals, businesses, and organizations of all sizes. It is a global problem and can impact victims in any location. Some well-publicized examples of ransomware attacks include:

  • The WannaCry attack in 2017, which affected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries.

  • The NotPetya attack in 2017, which targeted organizations in Ukraine and caused widespread disruption.

  • The Ryuk attack in 2019, which targeted newsprint companies and other organizations in the United States.

  • University Of Calgary paid $20,000 to get their data back.

These are just a few examples, but ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common and can impact anyone who uses a computer or device connected to the internet.

CyberEdge Group provides a wealth of information about cyber-attacks across the globe. It found that 78 percent of Canadian organizations experienced at least one cyberattack within a 12-month period. In 2021, this figure rose to 85.7 of Canadian companies.

How do i protect my business against ransomware?

There are several steps you can take to protect yourself against ransomware:

  1. Keep your software and operating system up-to-date: This will ensure that you have the latest security patches and fixes, which can help prevent malware from exploiting vulnerabilities in your system.

  2. Use antivirus software: Antivirus software can help detect and remove malware from your system. Make sure to keep your software up-to-date and run regular scans.

  3. Be cautious with emails and links: Don't open email attachments or click on links from unknown or suspicious sources. Ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious links or attachments.

  4. Backup your important files: Regularly backup your important files to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. This way, if your computer becomes infected with ransomware, you can restore your files from the backup.

  5. Be aware of Ransomware-as-a-service: Ransomware-as-a-service is a new trend where cybercriminals offer a service to distribute ransomware to other individuals or groups. Be aware of this type of service, and keep your computer and network security updated.

  6. Be prepared for incident response: Have a plan in place for dealing with a ransomware attack and make sure that all employees are aware of the plan and know what to do in case of an attack.

By following these steps, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to a ransomware attack and protect your sensitive data.


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