When it comes to cyber security, there’s no topic that brings experts more dread than ransomware. While anyone can be the victim of a ransomware infection, small businesses should take extra precaution to protect their networks. If they don’t, they could face devastating consequences.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. Sometimes, it encrypts specific data on a computer system. Other times, it completely locks users out of their computers. In order to regain access, users are forced to pay a ransom to the attacker.
Victims infect themselves by downloading a file or clicking a link they believe to be legitimate. Criminals frequently spoof email addresses of trusted senders to make their links and attachments appear safe, thus increasing the likelihood that the recipient will click on them.
Why is it a Threat to Small Businesses?
Ransomware is a particularly big threat to small businesses thanks to commonly held beliefs about cyber security within the small business community. We often hear from businesses who think they are too “small time” to become a victim of cybercrime. In fact, 82% of small business owners say they don’t believe they are targets for attacks, as they don’t believe they have anything worth stealing.
As a result, small businesses tend to have poor security policies – if any at all. With a lack of security, cyber criminals have an easy time infecting your system – a much easier time than infecting the network of a security-minded large corporation. Think of it this way: if you were a burglar, why would you break through a window when you could just walk through the front door?
How a Ransomware Infection Could Impact Your Business
A ransomware infection could be devastating to your small business. Depending on the type of ransomware that infects your computer, you’ll either be completely locked out from your system or your files will be encrypted. Take a moment to think about what how your business would be impacted if you couldn’t access your most important files. Would it halt sales activities? Result in missed deadlines? Anger customers? Worse?
We don’t want to sound alarmist, but we want to stress the real impact that ransomware can have on a small business. We know that criminals are targeting small businesses with ransomware. In fact, Computer World reports that between June and July 2015, 67% of all clicks on Cryptowall related emails came from the SMB sector. That’s why we want you to be educated and prepared for a ransomware infection.
Protecting Your Business From Ransomware
You shouldn’t lose sleep at night worrying about what could happen if you become a victim of a ransomware attack. With proper security protocol in place, you can significantly reduce your risk of being infected. If you do become infected, you’ll be spared a catastrophic data loss.
Want to learn more about how to keep your small business safe from cybercriminals?