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What is Ransomware? Definition, Detection, and Prevention

Ransomware definition: What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a user’s files and demands a ransom be paid to the attacker to decrypt the files.

Ransomware attacks are increasingly common, and they can be devastating for businesses and individuals who are targeted.

There are many different types of ransomware, and new variants are constantly being developed. It is important to be aware of the threat of ransomware and to take steps to protect your data.

How does ransomware work?

Ransomware typically spreads through email attachments or by visiting infected websites.

Once a computer is infected, the ransomware will encrypt files on the hard drive and any connected devices. The cyber criminal will then demand a ransom, usually in the form of cryptocurrency, to decrypt the files.

Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the files will be decrypted, as the attacker might not provide the key.

How to prevent ransomware

There is no guaranteed way to prevent ransomware. However, there are steps organizations can take to reduce the risk of getting infected.

1) Back up data regularly

Regular data backups provide a way to restore files that have been encrypted by ransomware without having to pay the ransom.

2) Keep systems and software up to date

Patching vulnerabilities makes it much harder for attackers to exploit them.

Learn why patch management is essential for effective cybersecurity

3) Train employees on ransomware

Teach staff how to identify phishing emails, not to click links or open attachments in suspicious emails, and how to report suspicious emails to their IT department.

Strengthen your defenses with our Ransomware Staff Awareness E-learning Course

Ransomware protection from IT Governance USA

Ransomware Staff Awareness E-learning Course

Ransomware Staff Awareness E-learning Course

Could your staff spot a ransomware attack, and would they know what to do? Take action against the increasing threat of ransomware attacks by educating your employees to be alert, vigilant, and secure with this short e-learning course.

Find out more

Cyber Health Check

Cyber Health Check

Do you have an overall view of how effective your cybersecurity plan is? Assess your cyber risk exposure and identify a practical route to minimize your risks with our four-phase cyber health check.

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Penetration testing consultancy

Penetration testing consultancy

Do you need to assess your organization’s vulnerability to attack? IT Governance USA provides a variety of penetration testing and vulnerability scanning packages.

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