When you think of threats to your business, you might picture things like natural disasters, product problems, or even general economic downturns. But hacking and cyber crime are actually growing in both number and strength. In fact, ransomware is the number three business threat at the moment.

One global study found that 34 percent of ransomware attacks caused businesses to lose money. For 12 percent of businesses under attack, their operations were brought to a halt immediately, and in 78 percent of cases people (customers, vendors, and staff) were personally affected by the attack.

Those stats are pretty scary, considering most of us are so dependent upon our computer networks to conduct business. But since education and prevention are the best ways to combat ransomware, learn how to identify these three common attacks.

WannaCry. Since May of this year, WannaCry has infected at least 200,000 computers worldwide. The attack arrives via phishing emails, in which the ransomware is embedded into links and attachments. When unsuspecting victims clink links or attachments within emails, the ransomware is installed onto their computers.

Cerber. This threat has been around since last year, and also uses bogus email attachments to distribute its nasty bug. Since Cerber is specifically geared toward files stored in shared networks, it can be particularly threatening to businesses and other large organizations.

Locky. Once the most widespread ransomware virus, Locky seemed to disappear sometime in 2016. But now a new version is making a comeback. Also spread via email attachments, Locky was recently using Adobe Reader to open a Microsoft Word document containing a dangerous macro. This is one reason to consider disabling macros within Word.

Since ransomware essentially locks your data, preventing you from accessing or using it, we must stress the importance of regularly backing up all of your information. If you do suspect that a computer has been infected with ransomware, remove it from your network immediately to prevent spread of the infection. Then give us a call at 888-RING-MY-TECH and we will help you decide upon your best course of action. Of course, prevention is always the best medicine, so it’s better to contact us before an attack. We can help you secure your network, back up data, and hopefully prevent a ransomware attack from occurring in the first place.