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What is Ransomware?

Web Hosting Blog

Ransomware is a type of attack that you will have almost certainly heard about on the news at some point. The term “ransomware” refers to a malicious software, or malware, which is downloaded on to a machine or network, often unsuspectingly by a legitimate user and has some type of effect which the attackers will then demand payment in order to stop. Sometimes malware will lock an organisation out of their own systems and demand payment for the organisation to regain access, and sometimes the attackers will threaten to expose sensitive data such as customer information or payment details unless they are paid by the targeted company or user.    

Ransomware is designed to cause as much disruption to a company as possible with the aim of then subsequently extorting as much money from that company as possible. The disruption of malware can be so severe that companies feel they have no choice but to pay up to the perpetrators. The problem with this is, once you’ve paid them, firstly there’s no guarantee that they will actually unlock your system as they say they will, and secondly, if you pay once, the attackers are more likely to target you a second time, as they now know you as someone who is potentially willing to pay. 

There have been a number of high profile cases of malware in recent years which you will have no doubt read about when they happened. One of the most well known attacks of recent years was the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017. The attack started in Asia at 7.44(GMT) on Friday 12th May 2017, and less than 24 hours later it had gone on to infect over 230,000 machines worldwide, spanning 150 different countries. The attack hit hundreds of organisations, a lot pf them high profile companies such as Dacia, Boeing, FedEx, Hitachi, Honda, Nissan, O2, several State Governments of India, and Telefónica.  

These attacks are destructive and effective, and unfortunately, many of the reasons that they are so successful stems from security flaws on the victim’s side. Many companies feel that due to the high profile nature of many of the companies who fall victim to these schemes, that it won’t happen to them. The problem with this approach is that malware and ransomware is everywhere and therefore it’s really only a matter of time before an organisation who does not take their security seriously is attacked. You may worry about the cost of implementing robust security measures in to your infrastructure, and to that we’d say to consider the costs to your business in the event of you falling victim to such an attack.

CWCS Managed hosting understands the importance of robust security practises in order to preserve and protect our own data and our customer’s data. To ensure we are holding data and our systems to the highest security standards possible, we are regularly and independently audited to ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 standards. We are also Cyber Essentials certified and PCI DSS compliant.           

Ransomware is a very real threat that in reality can happen to any organisation. It’s important to ensure you’re following the best security practises for your business and that your infrastructure is as robust as possible to protect against the ever changing and evolving landscape of ransomware and, indeed, all cyber attacks.

For more information on how CWCS can help you protect your server and site against RansomWare attacks, get in touch with us today on 0115 740 1234. As well as discussing the various security options that we can provide you as add ons for your server, we can also talk to you about your current internal security practises and potentially where you could make improvements. So get in touch today!