Ransomware prevents or limits users from accessing their system or devices. Criminals ask their victims to pay a ransom through certain online payment methods (and by a deadline) to regain control of their data.
How is ransomware different during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has made organisations like hospitals, governments and universities, more conscious about losing access to their systems and more motivated to pay the ransom. Criminals take advantage of this situation by:
- running faster and more ransomware attacks;
- recruiting collaborators to help them maximise their impact;
- offering ransomware-as-a-service on the dark web.
How does this affect me?
It is now even more important to secure your systems. With most employees working from home, a ransomware attack on companies would cause more disruption than under normal circumstances.
See our infographic to find out how it works and what to do if you are infected.
What can I do?
- Regularly back up data stored on your computer. Keep at least one copy offline.
- Do not click on links in unexpected or suspicious emails.
- Only browse and download official versions of software from trusted websites.
- Use robust security products to protect your system from all threats, including ransomware.
- Ensure that your security software and operating system are up-to-date.
- Be wary while browsing the internet and do not click on suspicious links, pop-ups or dialogue boxes.
- Do not use high privilege accounts (accounts with administrator rights) for daily business.
- If you think the attack could in any way impact your professional life, inform your IT department right away.
- Don’t pay the ransom. You will be financing criminals and encouraging them to continue their illegal activities.
- Always visit No More Ransom to check whether we have a free decryption tool for your ransomware variant.
- Report it to your national police. The more information you provide, the more effectively law enforcement can disrupt the criminal enterprise.