Ransomware has long been a focus of concern with many resources allocated to protect systems from the intrusion. USA Today brought this interesting information to our attention in their article, “‘Ticking time bomb’: Russian ransomware attacks are coming. What small businesses should do right now.”

In ransomware attacks, hackers lock down computer networks and demand payment to regain access. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has increased monitoring of ransomware targeting businesses. Ransomware attacks have surged in recent years, increasingly striking smaller targets.

Ironically, over half of all ransomware attacks reported during the first three months of this year are the work of just two cyber criminal outfits. Regardless of the external factors and shifts in targeting, ransomware is likely to remain one of the biggest threats to organizations worldwide for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately small businesses are the most vulnerable to the expected wave of ransomware attacks. There are many reasons: out of date software, no backup files, no multi-factor authentication and lack of knowledge about third party vendor security protocols. Cybersecurity professionals are calling for immediate steps to be taken to defend against attacks.

Melody K. Smith

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