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With so many different types of cyber threats out there, it can be difficult for people to avoid all of the malicious websites and links that are trying to lure them in. While some online schemes are just a nuisance, resulting in advertisements popping up or your email being added to an obnoxious listserve, others are extremely dangerous and can cause real problems for businesses. Ransomware is one of the most harmful types of cyber threats, and a growing number of enterprises are falling victim to such attacks.

According to a recent cybersecurity industry report, more businesses are falling victim to ransomware than ever before. Such an attack uses malicious code to hold computer files for ransom, encrypting data until money is sent to free them. However, some especially malicious cybercriminals won’t release the information even after they’ve received ransom. According to the study, more than 250,000 new samples of ransomware were identified in the fourth quarter of 2014, an increase of 155 percent from the third quarter. The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a joint effort between the FBI and nonprofit group National White Collar Crime Center, received nearly 2,300 complaints of ransomware between June 2014 and April 2015. Losses of over $1 million were reported from those complaints. Research by Trend Micro found that about 30 percent of companies that fall victim to ransomware pay to get their data back.

Small businesses can be hit particularly hard by a ransomware attack, as they often have much stricter budgets and less sophisticated computer defenses than major corporations. According to the industry report, 80 percent of small- and medium-sized businesses don’t have data protection measures in place and less than half have deployed an email security solution. A separate study conducted by Verizon Enterprise Solutions found that 23 percent of employees in these types of organizations open phishing emails that contain ransomware and other types of malware. Approximately 11 percent of those employees click on the malicious attachments that launch ransomware attacks.

Protecting priviledged data with layered security
When it comes to protecting sensitive enterprise information from cybercriminals, educating employees about how to interact with links in emails and creating messaging best practices is a reliable way to ensure the entire company is aware of the risks associated with email. However, businesses cannot always guarantee that their staff will follow the rules, so deploying a backup safety net is a good way to make sure sensitive systems are not being left vulnerable.

Employing a Endpoint layered security solution that includes anti-virus protection is one of the best ways to keep multiple endpoints safe from malicious actors and careless employees alike. A solution like provided by Faronics provides businesses with protection utilizes multiple defense strategies, such as user lockdown, application lockdown, anti-virus and a reboot-to-restore solution to keep enterprise systems safe from cybercriminals and sensitive data out of the wrong hands.

About The Author

Suzannah Hastings

Suzannah is interested in all things digital, from software security to the latest technological advances. She writes about ways in which the increasingly internet-driven landscape and windows technologies like steady state alternative that change our lives, and what we can expect in the future.

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