Security Check by John Garza Feb 1, 2017 My Business Has Been Hit with Ransomware! Now What? If you don’t know what ransomware is then consider yourself fortunate. Unfortunately, thousands of other business owners each year fall victim to the growing epidemic that is ransomware. Simply put, ransomware is a type of malware created by malevolent actors that is used to infect your computer, lock you out of your data and then use that situation as leverage to extort money from you. Infection typically occurs when security systems are weak and people unknowingly click on a bad file, a spoof email attachment, something in social media, a hacked website or a piece of malicious false advertising. I know, it’s terrible and the problem is only getting worse. To cite a recent study from Symantec, “The Services sector, with 38 percent of organizational infections, was by far the most affected business sector. Manufacturing, with 17 percent of infections, along with Finance, Insurance and Real Estate and Public Administration (both on 10 percent) also figured highly.” How Can I be Sure I’ve Been Hit? If your desktop looks different than normal and you are unable to access any of your files, then chances are you have been infected. In addition, hackers usually make it clear by forcefully displaying a window specifically stating that you have fallen victim to their malware with instructions on how to get your data back. It may also make reference to what could happen if you don’t comply with their exact demands usually asking for some sort of virtual currency payment ranging from $500-$5000 or more. So, I am Infected. What Now? There are several schools of thought on how to best approach a ransomware infection. First, you will want to isolate the infected machine and make sure it is completely removed from any office networks. What you do next is dependent upon how prepared you were to handle this type of attack. At a minimum, you should have been backing up your data with something like Jungle Disk Cloud Backup. As painful as it may be, your only option short of paying the ransom will be to completely wipe the machine clean, loading the operating system from scratch and then restoring from previous versions of your most critical data. If this isn’t an option, you need to consult a data security professional to check and see if you have any options to remedy your situation. If the hacker put together an unsophisticated piece of malware, then you have a good chance that a security professional may be able to help remedy the situation. Sadly, this typically isn’t the case with today’s advanced ransomware. How to Avoid Being Infected by Ransomware Again. The Jungle Disk team can recommend the best possible solution to protect your business’ critical data. In addition to a robust cloud backup platform, our cloud-enabled network protection service can protect your business from the most advanced threats including malware, ransomware, network intrusions, data leaks, botnet attacks and DDos attacks. All of our network protection plans provide protected internet, encrypted VPN remote access and secure Wi-Fi for your employees and visitors. In addition, we believe Jungle Disk Network Protection is so secure, we provide a data breach guarantee up to $50,000.