Ransomware on the Rise -- 5 Tips to Protect Your Data

Posted by Lori Salley Ring

Apr 26, 2016 8:30:00 AM

Hospitals have been the high-profile target of several recent attacks by cybercriminals who take a computer's or network's files hostage and demand a payment to restore access. The weapon used is a type of malware (malicious software) that is aptly called ransomware. Hospitals are good targets from the criminals' perspective because not only are lives potentially on the line if a hospital network is compromised, making the situation more urgent, but also hospitals tend to spend less time maintaining their networks so they are easy prey. Ransomware attacks are not limited to large, public, or human services institutions. Individuals and small businesses are also likely victims, and attacks are on the rise.  A report by Trend Micro shows more ransomware infections in February 2016 than in the first six months of 2015.  Ransomware cost its victims some $24.1 million last year.  In the face of this growing threat, the best strategy is a good defense.

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Topics: Malware, cybercrime, technology, cybersecurity, cyberthreats

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FocusData: TECHPol is a blog on technology and business policy issues affecting small and mid-sized companies.  TECHPol’s primary author, Lori Salley Ring, spent 20-plus years working on Capitol Hill, including as the top staffer on the House Committee on Small Business.  FDS is an IT consulting firm providing managed services, office tech relocation, network security, and IT support for businesses in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.

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About the Author

Lori Salley Ring

Lori Salley Ring

Lori serves as Policy Advisor and Communications Specialist for Focus Data Solutions.  Lori spent more than 20 years working for the U.S. Congress, including as Chief of Staff to a member of the House leadership and as the Staff Director for the Committee on Small Business.  Lori also ran a Washington-based non-profit organization between stints working for the Federal government. 

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