Understanding the impact of a ransomeware attack on your business

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

By James Daniels

You’ve probably heard the term ‘ransomware attack’ before, but you might not be completely sure what it means or how it could potentially impact your business in a negative way.

A ransomware attack is when a type of malicious software is used to hold the victim’s computer system or data digitally hostage until a fee is paid by the victim to release it. In most cases, a ransomware attack comes with a set deadline of when the money must be paid.

Ransomware attacks have been a serious threat for businesses since the mid-2000s. In 2017 alone, nearly 2000 ransomware attacks, which cost the victims over $2.3 million, were logged as complaints. However, these attacks only represent those that were reported and logged – many companies fail to report these kinds of attacks. Last year alone, there were an estimated 184 million overall ransomware attacks.

Ransomware was originally designed to target individuals rather than businesses. However, today, ransomware is used for attacks both on individuals and businesses.

How do ransomware attacks work?

The term ‘ransomware’ is used to describe the type of malware that’s used to penetrate the victim’s computer or device to access their files and systems. The function of the software is simple: to extort people or businesses for financial gain. In order to achieve that, the malware needs to be able to gain access to the files or data that will be held at ransom. In order to be able to do so, access vectors – AKA weak security spots – need to be sourced. A common means of access for this malware is via email attachments from unknown senders, for instance.

Protect your business against ransomware attacks

In order to prevent ransomware attacks, you need to understand how these attacks work and what steps you need to take to mitigate the risk of being targeted. The good news is that there are ways to reduce the risk of being targeted by cybercriminals. The key is to follow a regimented cybersecurity process that features the key cybersecurity best practices.

These include:

-Frequently backing up your key documents and data, and testing these backups regularly.

-Using a structured, regular update program for your security systems and passwords.

-Putting certain restrictions in place for team members.

-Tracking employee and contractor credentials to ensure no risk is posed.

Despite these best practice steps being fairly well-known, very few business owners fail to use them and incorporate them into their business best practices. If you are serious about preventing a ransomware attack from impacting your business, then it’s important to ensure that you are aware of the steps that you need to take to do so.

Ransomware attacks can have a seriously detrimental impact on your business, which is why it’s so essential that you understand what it takes to prevent them from occurring and protecting your business at all costs.


James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

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