Ransomware Kits: The Newest Tool for Cyber Criminals

Michael Collis

Gone are the days of advanced cyber criminal networks with years of prcyber_criminal-1.jpgogramming
skills required to infiltrate your system. Now ransomware kits are the tool of the trade. Cybercriminals have developed software which is sold on the dark web to users at any skill level, with the intent to hack your network and encrypt your data for ransom at a click of a button. It is that simple. 
 
Why would hackers create this software? For the same reason they have been hackingyour network for years: Money. Why spend time trying to create the latest malware when they can build the platform, sell it, and collect a piece of the bounty.
 
For those unfamiliar, ransomware is a type of malware that can hijack a user’s ability to access their network. This malware will encrypt and hold your data hostage until a ransom is paid. When the payment is made, the data may be released to the user, or as we have seen many times, another ransom is demanded.
 
How Do I Protect Myself from Ransomware?
 
Did you know that anti-virus is only 45% effective against malware? Scary number, huh? That being said, there are still some things you can do to protect yourself from malware like ransomware.
 
1) Protect your e-mail. Phishing campaigns are the main way in which ransomware is installed on a network. The most effective phishing campaigns have a 45% success rate. Train and retrain employees not to open attachments that look suspect. If an e-mail comes from UPS, Fed Ex, or USPS with an attachment make sure you are actually expecting a package from that sender. Are there misspellings in the e-mail? Is the e-mail from a trusted sender, but the wording not similar to that individuals’ usual dialogue? When in doubt, contact the sender to make sure they sent the e-mail. Never assume.
 
2) Patch. Set up an automated patching service like N-able. Updating critical software as soon as updates become available is essential to blocking incoming malware. Without it, expect to get hacked.
 
3) Backup files regularly. Not only is backing up data crucial in case of a disaster like a flood, fire, or earthquake, but ransomware is now more likely than those disasters combined. If you do get hit, you will need a good back
up.
 
4) Firewall protection. Make sure your firewall is turned on and configured properly at all times.
 
5) CryptoStopper.io™WatchPoint has developed software that monitors your shared files and detects and isolates the attack the moment ransomware hits the network. An
alert is sent to the administrator, and the host is disconnected from the server, minimizing any damage before encryption takes place
 
While it is important to put as many barriers in place to prevent malware from hitting your network, there is nothing that can keep you 100% safe. Prevention is key, but protection is a must. If prevention were 100% effective, we would not have seat belts, life jackets or motorcycle helmets. Check out CryptoStopper.io™ and see how WatchPoint can protect your business from ransomware.
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