Combating Ransomware: Back Up, Patch Up, Catch Up

April 2017 Feature Image

Ransomware strikes, panic sets in 

Ransomware, the computer malware designed to hold your devices and files ransom, can pose a huge threat to your company. Once a device is infected, it only takes a few seconds for a ransom note to display —demanding payment in exchange for a key to unlock your system. Until you pay the ransom, your device is virtually useless. And even if a payment is made, there’s no guarantee that the hacker will unlock your device. In short, you’re left with two choices: dig into your business funds to pay the ransom or let the hackers keep your files and hope they don’t further misuse your compromised information?

As a business owner, this is a decision that you should never have to make. Continue reading

Why the Small Business is Big Business for Hackers

smallbiz

It’s tough starting a small business, and even tougher to run one. When you’re caught up in the excitement of the start-up phase of a business, you’re often fuelled by hope and excitement, a kind of adrenaline that keeps you going through long days and steep climbs.

But once you’ve settled into your stride and get past the start-up phase, much of your day is spent spinning plates and fighting fires. Many of those fires are started maliciously by hackers, scammers, identity thieves and other miscreants who see small businesses as a big payday. All signs suggest that the small business is now the biggest target for cyber crooks. Continue reading

Files On Lockdown

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Aware of malware? What about sites preying on victims? Hopefully you are up to date on the latest news concerning the malware/ransomware Cryptolocker.  This is a devastating malware delivered through email via a .zip file.  Once you open the .zip file, it installs a virus on your computer that locks up all your files.  The virus then puts a message on your screen with a timer.

The message will instruct you where to send a payment to have your files unlocked. If payment is not received within the allotted time, your files will be frozen and lost to you forever. Much to the dismay of the malware criminals, they are losing money to people that have been infected with Cryptolocker and don’t understand what is happening and/or how to pay the ransom fee.  So in the spirit of world-class customer service, according to NBC News, the criminals have launched a website for victims to get information on how and where to pay the ransom. See how a small business came forward to report their experience with this devastating malware. Continue reading

Can You Protect Your Business from CryptoLocker Ransomware?

CryptoLocker

How can you avoid becoming a victim? There have been numerous news stories about the computer ransomware known as CryptoLocker, which has earned its creators $30 million since its September 2013 release.  Also known as malware, CryptoLocker installs on a computer via an infected link in an email. These emails appear to be from reputable companies with content that encourages the reader to make a quick decision to click on the corrupt link.  Once clicked, the malware loads onto the computer and locks down all the system files. CryptoLocker targets the most common files used in everyday business like Word and Excel.  A message appears asking for $300-$500 to unlock the system, along with a warning indicating any attempt to remove the malware will make the files unrecoverable.

Continue reading