What is ransomware? It’s difficult to understand why something is a risk if you don’t even know what it is. If you break the word down, ransomware is exactly what is sounds like: it’s “a form of malicious software (or malware) that, once it’s taken over your computer, threatens you with harm, usually by denying you access to your data. The attacker demands a ransom from the victim, promising — not always truthfully — to restore access to the data upon payment.” Source: csoonline.com
While everyone can be exposed to ransomware, there are two factors that increase your risk.
1. Highly sensitive information (credit/debit card numbers, social security numbers, banking info)
The more private the information you have is, the more likely you are to become a victim of ransomware. This is because hackers are looking for information they can either use to steal (money, identities, etc.) or hold ransom knowing you will pay in order to get it back.
2. Type of business (medical agencies, law firms, etc. are higher risk)
Is your data vital to your business? Hackers know this and will do everything they can to use that to their advantage. Perhaps without your records, you would literally go out of business or lose all credibility and be forced to shut down. Hackers know that you would be willing to pay in order to retrieve your data and protect your customers’ trust.
The scary part about ransomware is, no matter how much promising a hacker does, there’s little to no guarantee they’ll actually return your data once they get what they want. They have no obligation to you, and if they stole from you once, there’s nothing stopping them from lying and stealing from you again. This is why it’s so crucial to have a good system in place to protect your information from ransomware.