How to avoid the latest cyber threat facing Canadian organizations

by | Feb 13, 2024 | Finance and Business

Ransomware attacks are on the rise. These happen when cyber criminals trick someone into clicking a link or downloading a program that includes ransomware, which is a type of malicious software or “malware.”

The downloaded ransomware can offer thieves access to the organization’s network to extract or encrypt the data and block employees from accessing the system. Once that’s done, the criminals demand a ransom from the organization in exchange for regaining access to their systems and files.

This doesn’t just affect businesses. People’s personal information, including social insurance numbers and credit card information can be stolen.

Here’s how organizations can protect us all.

Develop a plan
Every business, large or small, should have a plan for how to detect and respond to ransomware attacks. Employees should also be given training on how identify suspicious messages and downloads. If you’re concerned about the financial impact of an attack on your business, there are cyber insurance policies available.

Use security tools
All files should be regularly backed up, so you have access to them in the event of an attack. Install anti-virus and anti-malware software on your systems and update any software patches as soon as you get them.

Report it
Ransomware attacks should be reported to the police, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

One thing you should not do is pay the ransom. There’s no guarantee that paying will give you access to your system or files, and, if you do, the cyber criminals are likely to ask for more money. Any payments help fund future attacks and could be used by organized crime groups.

Learn more about cybersecurity at getcybersafe.ca/ransomware

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