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Sponsor: Ransomware trends that can ruin your small business

Sponsor: Ransomware trends that can ruin your small business
Presented by Carbonite
Carbonite, Kim’s automatic backup choice

Ransomware is now the biggest malware threat in the world. According to security researchers, the number of ransomware victims increased by a shocking 550 percent in less than a year, from 131,000 in 2015 to 718,000 in 2016.

It does not just affect big businesses, it appears as if cybercriminals are increasingly targeting small businesses too.

Here are some shocking new trends about ransomware that every small business owner should know:

  •  Shotgun approach - Cybercriminals seem to be going now for mass quantity when deploying ransomware. Among these thousands of potential victims, one or two daily hits is all it takes for a generous payday. This makes ransomware one of the most profitable cybercrimes out there.
  • Small ransoms - The ransom payment for releasing the ransomware locked files is usually less than $1,000. Experts say that this is to ensure that more businesses, especially smaller ones, would rather pay the ransom instead.
  • Types of ransomware - Currently, there are two major types of ransomware:

There's Crypto ransomware, designed to encrypt certain types of files or extensions. Common file targets are videos, photos, Microsoft Office documents, and PDFs.

The second type is Locker ransomware. This type of ransomware locks out computer components, like your screen, or even entire systems.

  • Ransomware is constantly evolving - Cybercriminals are always changing their ransomware code to suit their needs. They also tweak their code constantly to elude security software.
  • Even legitimate websites are now vectors for ransomware - Aside from email attachments, computers can also be infected via third-party ads in websites that are injected with ransomware.
  • Multiple keys in the same attack - another new trend is different encryption keys for each file in a single computer. This makes unlocking the files more difficult.

How to protect your small business from ransomware

Our first tip is to be extremely careful with attachments and links sent to you via email, even from people you trust.

The most used ransomware vector now, according to security researchers, is through emails with malicious attachments and links to infected websites.

Next, it is vital for small businesses to always have a backup of important files.

One of the best practices is to have a reliable cloud backup service like Carbonite. This way you could just easily restore your important files from your offsite backup if you ever get hit by any ransomware variant.

Protect your small business from a total ransomware disaster! Sign up with Carbonite today and use promo code KIM to try it for 15 days, plus get two free months of extra service when you subscribe!

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