Hackers Embrace Spear Phishing and Your Business is the Fish

Ransomware threat

Spear phishing: a new term where a hacker at his computer replaces the bad guy in a wetsuit and spear gun in a 007 movie. Hackers and their ransomware aim at small and medium businesses because it pays handsomely and often.

Ransomware expands as a significant threat this year. Even if you back up data in the cloud, the risk remains. Ransomware sniffs out all vulnerabilities and oozes its way through your network including your cloud, encrypting your data in route.

Your general anti-virus program doesn’t catch this sneaky stuff. You need a solid plan to protect your data. First, back up your data locally and in the cloud, in multiple locations.

Email remains the number one way to become infected, so educate your employees about downloading files. Websites now also contain infected links, let your employees know about this.

Proactive ways to contain this threat include removing administrator privileges. Malware uses this privilege to gain access to the system. Just this step stops most malware targeting Microsoft weaknesses.

Halt any software changes or new installations on any computers without approval. This procedure stops ransomware before it ever gets to your network.  Implement an endpoint security system with sandboxing which protects your network. This system, although not foolproof, allows suspicious software to unmask its true purpose without access to your primary network.

With hackers hawking their ransomware to anyone with some cash and computer knowledge on the rise, ransomware will only get more prevalent and sophisticated. With seven out of ten companies falling victim to ransomware attacks, it’s either mount an adequate defense or pay a blackmailer.

 

Author: Kris Keppeler, writer for Crossing Genres on Medium.com, and Does This Happen to You? on Channillo. Award winning podcast producer. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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