Ransomware has been in the news a lot lately, as criminals use it to extort money from businesses and individuals alike. But this isn’t just an issue affecting large companies; ransomware can be used to attack small businesses just as easily, even if they don’t have the proper protections in place to protect themselves against these types of threats. Fortunately, you can avoid being a victim by taking the time to learn about ransomware and how it works so you can recognize its threats before it’s too late.

Ransomware Explained
Ransomware is malware that, once installed on a computer or server, will encrypt files and hold them hostage until a ransom is paid. They spread through phishing scams and exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software—most notoriously Microsoft Office. In many cases, there’s no decryptor available if you’re hit with ransomware; your only option to regain access to your data is to pay up.

The Dangers of Ransomware
Ransomware is one of several types of malware—computer programs designed to disrupt normal computer activity, gather information, or gain access to private computer systems. Ransomware is among one of the costliest forms of malware for small businesses; an attack could cost your business anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $10,000. It can take small businesses weeks or even months to recover from a ransomware attack because it often takes hours of work by IT professionals to restore files and get back up and running again. And that’s not including any costs associated with lost productivity, which can also be significant. For example, research shows that organizations infected with ransomware have reported losing an average of five days worth of data and $1.6 million in total costs due to recovery efforts.

How to Avoid Getting Hit by Ransomware
While there are ways to avoid getting hit by ransomware, it’s best not to put all your eggs in one basket. Cybercriminals know that if they target small businesses individually with high-quality phishing emails and attachments, there’s a chance that at least one company will fall for their tricks. You can prevent small business ransomware attacks by implementing a multi-layered security strategy that includes strong perimeter protection, mfa and single sign-on, employee training, data backup and disaster recovery plans.

How to Protect Against Getting Hacked
It’s time for small businesses to go on offense against cybercriminals. Phishing scams, ransomware, and other malicious attacks cost small businesses tens of thousands each year, while potentially exposing confidential data to competitors. NetResults can help with easy to implement and cost-effective solutions to keep your business safe and secure. www.nrtg.net

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