Beware of Ransom-ware!

May 19, 2016

This past winter, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in California was hit with malicious software encrypting patient files for roughly $17,000. After speaking with tech professionals they decided it was in their best interest to PAY the ransom.
On Friday, March 4th, ransom-ware known as “KeRanger” had found its way onto Mac OS X. The breach was detected within a matter of a few hours. Over the weekend about 6,500 users downloaded the infected version of this software. This is the first successful known “ransom-ware” attack on Mac OS X.
Business’ across the world are being hit by Ransomware – malicious software that encrypts files and demands payment to restore them. They target large and small business without bias and have for years. The worst part? It’s growing!  These attacks are so successful because they are taking advantage of known vulnerabilities and utilizing one of our best security features against us: encryption.
Encryption is the process of encoding information in such a way that only those with authorization (the code) can read it. Encryption is used to protect vital information from physical theft, making the data incredibly difficult to obtain, often overwriting the data upon failure to present the proper code within the number of tries provided.
How can you defend yourself against ransomware?
  • It is paramount to have anti-virus software, keep it up to date, and have it report to a central repository to ensure issues get noticed.
  • Maintenance for your computer, updates from Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, Java and more, plug known security holes and other vulnerabilities.
  • Solid offsite backups ensure your data is safe and secure, even if something gets lose on your network.

Many organizations have not implemented these simple, quick, and effective security measures to protect themselves.  To discuss your network integrity contact Emerson Technologies at 651-454-7729 or email help@emersontech.net

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