Ransomware : A Virus That Shuts Down Businesses

Imagine turning on your computer one day to find that all your files were inaccessible…

and you had to pay some unknown person in order to regain access? What would you do if all your most important files were lost for good?

That’s exactly what many companies are falling victim to; a virus that encrypts your computer’s files and demands a ransom, ranging from a few hundred to sometimes several thousands of dollars, in exchange for a key to decrypt the files.

Most commonly the virus comes through in the form of an email with a simple attachment. The installation happens discretely and encrypts all files on your computer as well as any external drive that may connected at that time, including both USB drives and server drives. Even cloud applications aren’t spared as the local sync client will usually upload the encrypted files back to the cloud.

This type of virus has been around for a long time. But it’s been in the news recently having this year already affected thousands of Belgian companies.

We have seen several cases ourselves of ransomware and the consequences can be dramatic. Indeed without the key, decryption can be near to impossible. We therefore have to rely on backups in order to restore the most recent versions of the files.

The solution against these type of threats is a mixture of preventive security systems, user awareness and disaster recovery planning that will allow the critical data needed to run your business to stay intact.

These solutions can easily be adapted to fit your business and may save you thousands (even millions) later down the line.  In the words of a recent victim, “Don’t wait until it’s too late, protect your data and your business now.”