IT service and website provider Netgain suffered a significant ransomware attack in November, 2020. As a result of the attack, the company has had to take a number of its data centres offline.
Netgain emailed its customers, which include organisations in the accounting and healthcare industries, informing them that they’d fallen prey to the attack on November 24th. Customers were warned they might experience slowdowns or outages as Netgain shut down its data centres in order to contain and isolate the threat. They assured customers that they were working around the clock to restore their servers and ensure that all traces of the ransomware had been eradicated.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of cybercrime that stops users from accessing their files and systems by encrypting data. Victims receive demands for a ransom payment in return for restoring access. While ransomware attacks have targeted large organisations such as Netgain and multiple organisations simultaneously (the WannaCry attack of 2017 is a famous example), smaller businesses and even individuals are not immune. All it needs is the downloading of a malicious email attachment following a link to a spoof website or even accidentally touching a malicious ad to become vulnerable.
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If you’re ever affected by ransomware, the first rule is not to make the payment, according to Forbes.com. Not only does it encourage the perpetrators to continue their attacks, but there’s also no guarantee that files and systems will be restored. Worse still, by paying the ransom, victims could unwittingly become involved in money laundering.
How Can I Prevent Ransomware Attacks?
– Beware of phishing emails or scam calls from people claiming to be from a reputable organisation, and never give them personal information.
– Install robust antivirus and antimalware.
– Make sure your mail servers scan for potential threats and block dangerous attachments.
– Keep your systems up to date with the latest updates.
– If you use public Wi-Fi, use a trustworthy VPN.
And finally, always keep a regular back-up of your files. It’s the fastest way to get back up and running if you fall victim to a ransomware attack.