Cyber Crime and the Ransomware Outbreak.

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Cyber Crime and the Ransomware Outbreak.

It may all sound a little unreal when we talk about ransomeware and computers being taken ransom – but truth be told, it is a very real occurrence and one that should NOT be viewed lightly.

You may have read about the massive Ransomware Virus outbreak in the news over the last few days, but don’t fully understand what it is or what you need to do. Let’s elaborate.

Firstly, what is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a malicious virus software that was created to block the access to your computer system until you pay the ‘ransom’ money to the relevant people. In some cases, all access to files and systems is completely blocked, with no way of retrieving critical client information and business data. If you do not pay the money, you stand the chance of losing your precious information permanently, unless of course, you have a backup.

The Stats.

Since the beginning of 2016, more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur daily around the world – that’s a staggering 300% increase in attacks since 2015. A massive 78% of people claim to be aware of the risks of clicking unknown links, yet click them anyway – that sounds pretty crazy right?

What is the latest Ransomware attack?

The attack, which has been named Wanna Decryptor, part of the WannaCry ransomware family, hit computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system, on the 12th of May, affecting almost 125 000 computers in 150 countries around the world. In the UK alone, the virus hit 47 NHS trusts, resulting in critical operations being cancelled and patients turned away – a huge disaster for the medical industry. NHS were the worst hit, but the devastation spans across thousands of companies across the globe, making this the most severe virus attack in history. Read more about this ransomware attack, here.

There is little one can do in a situation like this, in terms of retrieving data without having to spend a fortune, that’s why backing up and having the relevant cyber insurance for your computer is SO important.

How to avoid being taken ransom.

  • When you click on a fake webpage or email that is not secure, you put your computer at risk of ransomware. These websites often have bad spelling or weird spacing in the url. DO NOT click on these websites or open emails that look odd. Avoid them at all costs.
  • Never enable macros in PDFs or when they may look suspicious – these could open you up to ransomware.
  • Install a popup blocker on your computer to detect any faulty popups from taking over your info.
  • Don’t ever click on links in spam emails, these are sent to spam for a reason.

Most importantly, ensure that you are insured for cyber hacking, so that if in the instance of your computer being taken ransom, you do not have to fork out thousands of Rands to get your information back, which even then cannot guarantee you getting everything back. Never be left vulnerable in these situations – rather be safe than sorry.

CC&A offer specialised insurance products geared at protecting you and your business against major viruses like this ransomware attack – don’t be left open to infection, contact us today to find out how we can help you. 

Have a look at our previous blog here for more on cyber crime.

 

“The article should not be considered legal or financial advice and is for information purposes only. You should consult with a professional financial advisor to determine what may be best for your individual needs.”