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Ransomware is ‘biggest immediate cyber threat’

clip_image002A recent report from the security firm Kaspersky Lab has claimed that so called ‘Ransomware’ is now the biggest and most persistent threat to internet security.

Their report, which you can read here, acknowledges that there were as many as 2,900 incidents of Ransomware attacks during the first three months of 2016, a 14% increase on the previous quarter.

Ransomware is a serious form of malware which locks away a victim’s files and then requests payment to unlock them, usually through an anonymous encrypted online currency such as Bit coin. In some scenarios a Ransomware attack can result in a user completely losing access to their computer or hard-drive, and because of this many businesses and individuals end up paying the ransom. In the UK it’s estimated that an incredible 44% of victims have paid to recover their data. With such a high rate of success, it is easy to see why more criminals are choosing this tactic.

Such a big loss of data could present many problems to businesses, not only through the initial practical hurdles of data loss but also the financial and potential legal implications for losing what could be confidential files.

To protect themselves, businesses should ensure that their anti-virus software is up to date with all the correct patches so that it can prevent Ransomware from infecting a computer. They should also limit the number of people who have access to sensitive data, keep firewalls and software up to-date and regularly back up files to offline and cloud based storage facilities.

Here at ECL we have extensive experience in protecting businesses against the latest malware, computer hacks, viruses, spam, phishing scams and other threats and can advise you on the best methods of protecting your business. For more information please, please call us on 01268 575300 or email us on info@ecl.co.uk

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