Ransomware is a malware used by cyber attackers to prevent access to a computer system until an amount if money has been paid. It has recently become a popular method for extorting money from businesses, and law firms are particularly attractive for ransomware attacks. In fact, information experts have revealed that there has been a rise in this kind of malware attack on legal organizations. This is mainly because of the sensitive information that legal firms hold. Tampering with this information can lead to a loss of reputation and clients for an organization.
It is, therefore, important that all law firms should seek adequate legal IT support to protect them from these situations. Nevertheless, before you agree to pay a single dime of a ransom money, check to see if you can decrypt the ransomware for free.
History of Ransomware
This malicious software dates back to as far as 30 years ago when some individuals realized that they could encrypt data stored on other people’s system and demand money in exchange for its decryption. The practice has slowly been on the rise ever since, seeing a spike in popularity in 2006 as well as 2013, but it is currently at its peak in 2017.
Effects of Ransomware
The FBI reported in 2015 that ransomware has cost businesses an estimate of $24 million. 2016 saw this number quadruple, and in the first three months alone, victims had lost an estimate of $209 million. Now in 2017 reports show that 10% of all malware attacks are ransomware, an alarming statistic. The fact is ransomware can cost your business money, reputation, and clients.
But What can you do?
Not all ransomware is organization specific, and some are quite easy to disengage, for example, Zombie ransomware. This type of ransomware can arise from the multiplication of a previous ransomware strain. Often the attackers hope that victims quickly become scared and pay the ransom before figuring out if something can be done. As a result, ensure you check the following decryption tools to see if there is a solution to the ransomware:
1.) Free decryption tool by Avast
2.) Kaspersky Lab’s No Ransom list
3.) Fightransomware.com’s Breaking Free list
Can you Prevent your Organization from Ransomware Attacks?
The answer to this is yes, and here are a few ways to go about it. For starters, teach your employees how to spot malicious files on emails and web browsers to prevent opening ransomware carriers.
Secondly, make sure all your firm’s data is properly backed up in an external storage facility not directly connected to your network. This way you can quickly recover lost files in the case of an infection.
Last but not least seek the help of professional legal IT support not just to prevent but fix ransomware attacks.