Ransomware attacks have been rather prevalent in the news of late. Sandwiched between COVID updates and the weekend weather forecast, you may have noticed ransomware attacks striking major organizations around the globe. These, in general, have been multi-billion dollar companies, including financial institutions and oil manufacturers. Often, these businesses have been forced to pay millions of dollars in ransom fees to take back control of their business and avoid the distribution of sensitive documents. And yet, the problem is so much larger than these massive corporations falling under attack. Every single day, businesses just like yours fall into the crosshair of Internet scammers and cybercriminals. For various reasons, small-time cybercrime doesn’t make the headlines, but when it hits home, it can be devastating. To better protect your company, you need to know how ransomware affects business, no matter what industry you are in.
It’s Sneaks Past Security
There are several ways how ransomware affects business and how it can enter your business network. If you have a weak firewall and defensive system in place, it can sneak in, one bit at a time, slowly assembling until it’s instructed to launch. If the files have not been discovered and removed by the time this happens, it may be too late.
Ransomware can even enter your network through appliances and IoT devices you might not expect to be a security threat. However, if you’re not protecting every device connected to the Internet, such as a printer or smart appliances, information can move through this unassuming Internet connection.
One of the most common methods of accessing your network is also the easiest one to protect against infected emails. Whether it’s clicking on an infected link inside a received email or opening up an infected Web page, most of these issues occur when someone within your own business simply makes a mistake and clicks on something they shouldn’t have. That’s why going over what to avoid opening up and not clicking on is essential.
How Ransomware Affects Business
While every business is different, the basic networking of a company is more or less the same. There can be more security in place, and those multi-billion dollar corporations have a complex infrastructure, but the basics are relatively universal. So what happens to one business can happen to yours.
When ransomware launches, it takes complete control of the network. You may not be able to access information, or you might be completely locked out of the network entirely. Most modern ransomware will take over the entire network, although some might attack a specific computer station.
When the attack happens, you can’t open important files, and you won’t be able to log into your website, conduct sales, you won’t be able to communicate with other users on the network, or do just about anything. Essentially, you’re completely blocked from your own business.
But that’s not everything. Typically, ransomware doesn’t install and launch right away. It sits there, in the weeds, siphoning off important, confidential data. It can be all your customer’s financial documentation. It can be medical records, Social Security data, and other information you don’t want to leak. The cybercriminal will then use this information against you.
Ransomware has its name because the criminal requires a paid ransom to release their control of your network. In the early days of ransomware attacks, you’d pay a ransom for a key code, and the key code would then unlock the network and, theoretically, remove the infected files (although oftentimes trace elements of the ransomware would remain and potentially strike the computer again).
Modern ransomware takes this a step further. Not only does it lock down your network and request a ransom, but it threatens to release confidential information, which might be far more financially damaging to you and your business than anything else. Some companies, especially those with enough saved up, would set up a new network, trashing the infected one. But now, with the stolen information, this doesn’t fix the problem at all. Now, you are forced to face the threat of either abandoning your network and risking the release of damaging information or paying the ransom, which can often be steep.
In short, if your network is ever infected and taken over by ransomware, you’re in between a rock and a hard place. That’s why it is always better to protect your business against ransomware properly. Cybercriminals going after small and medium-sized businesses would rather secure a quick financial score, which means when your secure network is detected, there is a better chance of them moving on and looking for another business (like a criminal checking front doors to find which one is unlocked).
It’s Time To Take Ransomware Seriously
A ransomware attack can cut the knees right out from under your business. In the end, a single, successful attack can cost your company tens of thousands of dollars (if not more). From the combination of shutting down for possibly days, if not weeks, to possibly paying off a ransom or even having the financial information of your business leaked, all of this combined can lead to the downfall of your business. No business is too big to fail, and no business is too small to be attacked. That is why it is time to take ransomware threats seriously. Know, how ransomware affects business. The best way to protect your company is to bring in a professional service provider, such as Charlotte IT Solutions. With the help of Charlotte IT Solutions, your entire network will be audited to pinpoint weak links and areas of Internet security that need to be improved. From there, upgrades will be implemented, and you’ll receive first-hand information on how you and your employees can prevent a ransomware attack. Whatever the kind of industry you’re in or how long you’ve been in business, it’s time to take ransomware seriously. It’s time to give Charlotte IT Solutions a call.