How Does Ransomware Work?
Ransomware works by encrypting your files with a strong encryption algorithm. Once your files have been encrypted, you will be unable to access them unless you pay the ransom. The ransom is usually demanded in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency so that it cannot be easily traced.
In some cases, the attackers will also threaten to release your personal data if you don't pay the ransom. This is known as "doxing." Doxing can be especially damaging to businesses because it can lead to the loss of customers, reprisal attacks from competitors, and damage to reputation.
How Can I Protect Myself From Ransomware?
There are several things you can do to protect yourself from ransomware. First and foremost, you should make sure that all of your devices are running the latest version of their operating system and all security patches have been installed. This will help close any potential security holes that could be exploited by attackers.
You should also install a reputable antivirus program on all of your devices and ensure that it is set to automatically update itself so that it can protect you against the latest threats. In addition, you should use caution when opening email attachments and only download files from trusted sources.
Finally, you should regularly back up your data so that if your files are ever encrypted by ransomware, you will still have access to a copy of them. You should store your backups offline (on an external hard drive or USB drive) so that they cannot be accessed by the attacker even if they gain access to your computer.
Ransomware is a serious threat that can have devastating consequences for individuals and businesses alike. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from it. By staying informed and taking precautions such as updating your devices, installing antivirus software, being cautious when opening email attachments, and backing up your data regularly, you can greatly reduce your risk of being victimized by ransomware.
Andrew Hay is the COO at Lares and is a veteran cybersecurity executive, strategist, industry analyst, data scientist, threat and vulnerability researcher, and international public speaker with close to 25 years of cybersecurity experience across multiple domains. He prides himself on his ability to execute the security strategy of the company with which he works without neglecting business objectives and the needs of its customers. Andrew is the author of multiple books on advanced security topics and is frequently approached to provide expert commentary on industry developments. He has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Bloomberg, Wired, USA Today, and CSO Magazine.