Why were nearly 40% of businesses hit by ransomware in 2015?

Considered the fastest growing computer virus, ransomware is a type of malware that works by finding its way onto a device by exploiting vulnerability in software, or by tricking someone into installing it. If hit by ransomware, the person/company behind it will likely ask the owner of the infected device to pay a ransom or will threaten to wipe the device of all of its files.

background-21657_1920The threat of ransomware is growing, and in a global study carried out by security researchers, Malwarebytes, it was found that almost 40 per cent of organisations based in the UK, US, Canada and Germany were hit by ransomware in the last year. More than a third of these organisations reported a loss of revenue and even 20 per cent of businesses had to shut down operations completely.

From the report, it was found that UK businesses were hit the hardest, with more than half of organisations paying the ransom, which ranged from $1000 to $150,000 in some cases.

With nearly half of these attacks said to have originated from an email, it is important for companies to do all they can to prevent themselves becoming victim to this computer virus.

Here are our four tips to minimising the risks:

  • Back up your files regularly and keep a backup off-site – it is also recommended that you encrypt the backed up data so only you can restore it.
  • Secure your network – make sure you only allow staff access to what they need to and use boundary firewalls to block unwanted traffic.
  • Don’t open unsolicited attachments – if you don’t know the sender or you’re not expecting a file from someone, don’t open it.
  • Educate staff – make sure they know what the threats are, how to minimise the risks, and that they know what to do if they think their computer is infected.

If you have any worries about your computer security, get in touch with our team on 0800 9520652, and we’ll be happy to help keep your company secure.