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No matter the size of your company, at one time or the other, you may be a target for hackers. The latest weapon in the arsenal of hackers is ransomware, and for some time now, it’s been gaining ground.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious software written to restrict the victim from accessing their computer system or certain file(s) until a ‘ransom’ is paid.
Every ransomware software usually encrypts all your files and unless you’re a super hacker (sometimes not even then) it makes them completely inaccessible. Then the hacker demands a ransom – usually in cryptocurrency – before access will be restored.
If you’re a victim of ransomware, don’t be pressured to pay the ransom. Even though this may look like the only way for you to regain your files, your actions may have some terrible consequences.
Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t budge to the demand of Ransomware hackers.
1: They May Ask for More Money
Even after paying the ransom as demanded by the hacker, there’s every chance they may get greedy and ask for more money. This is because they know your vulnerabilities and that you’re willing to pay! This happened to a hospital in Wichita in 2016. They paid the first ransom, and the attackers demanded more, which the hospital refused to pay this time.
If you pay the requested ransom, the hackers will feel you’re desperate and may try to take advantage of it. They’ll feel you can’t do without the files and may end up milking you dry.
2: There Is No Assurance You’ll Have Access to Your Files Again
This is probably one of the reason’s you shouldn’t pay ransom of any kind for your files. You are dealing with hackers who have a reputation of being dishonest – besides they have nothing to lose if they restore your files or not.
Paying ransom to access your files just makes you a target again, and the next attack may be more complex and deadly than the previous attack. Besides, they have a copy of your file and there’s nothing stopping them from sharing it – so you have everything to lose when you pay the ransom.
In addition, paying the hackers doesn’t fix the vulnerability they exploited in the first place, so fixing that should be your priority.
3: It Funds Illicit Activities
If you pay cybercriminals to access your files, you’re only empowering them for more attacks. Often, they use such funds for illicit activities or to fund more ransomware operations. With your funds, they can buy higher-end computers, software, and server, which lets them target more potential victims.
If you stand your ground and refuse to pay, not only will it discourage their activities, it will also make you more security-conscious.
How to Defend Against Ransomware
Encrypt your files
You may need an encryption software to do this. In reality, this is the best way to protect yourself against hackers. If hackers are able to breach your security, they’ll be left with encrypted files that are useless to them.
This is not only cost-effective, but it is by far the easiest way to defeat ransomware hackers. By having up to date backups, you’re insured from hacks. All you need to do is to reset your computer, and you can restore a non-infected backup.