What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or computer files until a sum of money is paid. It freezes a computer and encrypts files on the system to make data inaccessible. A warning pops up and demands that you pay a ransom within a certain time frame in order to receive a private key to decrypt and restore access to your files. Once encrypted, there is no technical way to fix your system other than wiping it clean and restoring it with backup data. Ransomware is a particular problem for small businesses. Nearly 70 percent of ransomware attacks in 2018 targeted small businesses, with an average ransom demand of $116,000 (Beazley Breach Response Services).

Last week's tip addressed the risk of phishing, a method of enticing users via fraudulent emails to click on a link or provide personal data. Here are some tips to avoid "taking the bait" in a phishing scheme that could lead to the installation of ransomware on your systems:
Do not click links or open attachments on any email from an untrusted source.
Before you click on a link in an email or open an attachment, examine the sender's details in the "From" line, and delete it immediately if the domain name (after the "@") looks suspicious.
Install computer security software and keep it updated.
Next week, we will discuss another top cybersecurity threat for self-storage operations: man-in-the-middle attacks.

Download MiniCo's white paper Cybersecurity and Privacy Risks: Information for Self-Storage Businesses.

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Make it a safe day!

Mike Schofield
President & CEO