<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=464741397436242&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">

    What Are the Types of Ransomware Attacks and How Do I Avoid Them?

    Cybercrime damages are expected to reach an astounding $6 trillion by the year 2021. 
    This number is up from $3 trillion in the year 2015. This proves that hackers are getting more sophisticated. 

    These costs include the destruction of essential data, stolen money, lost productivity, investigation and restoration, and much more. These are prices that businesses cannot afford to pay.
    According to research by Comparitech:
    • 71.1 million fall victim to cybercrimes globally each year (this equates to nearly 900 victims per 100,000 people)
    • The average victim loss is $4,476 per crime
    • Victims lose $318 billion to cybercrime annually

    Comparitech's reporting has the United States topping the list with 5.28 million victims losing $28 billion.

    One major threat in the world of cybercrime is ransomware—when a hacker encrypts your data and demands you pay a ransom to get it back (which doesn't always happen). There are many types of ransomware to be aware of as the threat is continually evolving.

    Prevention is vital in deterring criminals. We'll explain the types you should know about as well as how to avoid them in this article.
    1. Scareware

    In this type of ransomware, the user is the one who downloads the malware.

    The hacker scares or intimidates the computer user into installing or purchasing malicious software.

    Perhaps the hacker tricks them into thinking they've got a virus and must download software to eradicate it. Then, the user unknowingly downloads the virus themselves.

    2. Lockers

    This virus prevents access to your data and computer files by "locking" it. In this type, you can't access your data until you've paid a fee (ransom).

    3. Crypto Malware

    This is another version of Locker ransomware.

    In this type, your files are not only locked but also encrypted. The hacker uses sophisticated encryption technology that can only get decrypted using a unique key that only they have. 

    4. Doxware

    Doxing is when someone steals your personal and private information and then releases that information online to the public. It can take the form of home addresses, phone numbers, financial numbers, confidential documents, and more.

    Doxware is a type of ransomware that also threatens to release your data on the internet unless you pay the ransom.

    How to Avoid These Types of Ransomware

    Since we're dealing with criminal hackers, there's no guarantee that paying the ransom will reinstate your stolen data.

    Therefore, it's not always smart to pay the ransom as you could be out your data and your money. A hacker could also take advantage of you and have you pay multiple times.

    The best thing you can do as a company is to prevent ransomware altogether. Overcoming it is difficult and expensive, but prevention is relatively easy and affordable.

    Here are some methods of avoidance:

    • Update your software as upgrades become available
    • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date as well
    • Hire a chief information security officer (CISO) or a virtual chief information security officer (vCISO)
    • Don't open email attachments from unknown/skeptical sources
    • Don't provide any personal information online, through text, or on the phone
    • Train your employees about ransomware and preventative measures
    • Back all your information up to an external hard drive or better yet, the cloud
    • Familiarize yourself with the different types of ransomware
    Knowing how to detect ransomware is another critical way you can try to prevent further attacks.

    Remember, no company is 100% safe. You must take the necessary precautions to defend your data.

    Protect Yourself

    As criminals get more sophisticated, the types of ransomware are bound to change.

    Your best protection is knowledge and prevention. And it never hurts to have someone looking out for you, either.

    Contact our data security experts today to see how we can help your company avoid these attacks.