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Ransomware has been deemed one of the biggest menaces on the internet. And for good reason — if your computer or network falls victim to a ransomware attack this means not only has your information ended up in the clutches of hackers, but you will likely have to pay up to get your information back.

The first step to protecting your website is understanding what you’re up against in the first place!


What is Ransomware?


Ransomware often begins with someone connected to your network clicking on what appears to be an innocent attachment. This attachment typically comes through an email that is disguised as a legitimate communication.

Once a person clicks on this attachment this gives hackers access to your encrypted files — giving them the keys to your information and allowing them to hold it hostage and demand a ransom for its safe return.

The problem, which has reportedly been around since 1989, has become so prevalent that cybercriminals reportedly pocketed over $1 Billion from ransomware attacks in 2016. According to an FBI report, one form of ransomware in early 2016 compromised as many as 100,000 computers a day.

And the problem continues to persist each and every day.


Types of Ransomware


There are certain types of ransomware which have been much more successful than others over the years.

The most notorious form of ransomware is known as Locky, which was well known in 2016 when it made headlines after infecting a hospital in the USA demanding that officials pay up to have its network restored. In the end, hospital officials paid a $17,000 ransom to get the network restored.

Other common types of ransomware include Cryptowall, Cerber, WannaCry and BadRabbit, which we covered in a recent blog post.

So what does your organization stand to lose if it were to fall victim to a ransomware attack? A lot! Not only could you lose access to your valuable information, but you may also end up paying a hefty ransom in the hopes of getting all this information back. To put it simply, ransomware attacks can destroy your business.


How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks


While educating your company on the dangers of ransomware and learning the signs of such an attack are crucial, your best bet to prevent a ransomware attack is to partner with a proven IT infrastructure expert capable of safeguarding your system from any and all vulnerabilities.

North Shore Data Services deploys layers of security including Network Security appliances and SaaS security services to protect all of your IT infrastructure. A seasoned IT solutions provider, North Shore is capable of deploying layers of security including Network Security appliances and SaaS security services to protect all your IT infrastructure.

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To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, North Shore Data Services offers remote help for our clients. If on-site work is required, we will adhere to the safety protocols and best practice guidelines set out by the CDC and individually governed state mandates.