Ransomware Myths: Avoiding a False Sense of Security

With Ransomware threats on the rise, more and more businesses are seeking ways to protect themselves from cyber crime.  And while investing in security solutions is always a good call, the truth is that there is not one, surefire way to avoid infection by Ransomware. I know what you’re thinking, “It can’t happen to me.” I am here to tell you that it can, and it will. Cyber criminals are constantly changing their attack tactics and developing new variations of Ransomware viruses. This means that as soon as you secure yourself against one strain of Ransomware, you become vulnerable to another. The best way to stay vigilant when it comes to Ransomware is to ensure that you do not fall prey to a false sense of security. As we learn more about Ransomware and how to fight it, myths have developed that have people and businesses believing that they are not at risk for infection by a Ransomware virus. Here are a few of those myths debunked:

Common Ransomware Myths

1. MAC and Linux users are safe from Ransomware

It’s true, most Ransomware attacks are geared toward Windows users. However, there are variations of Ransomware viruses that specifically target MAC and Linux. If you are a MAC or Linux user, do not assume that you are exempt from attack. Avoid opening suspicious emails, visiting untrusted sites and downloading insecure files from the internet. 

2. AntiVirus will protect me from Ransomware

Many people overestimate the effectiveness of AntiVirus. Though AntiVirus does update their libraries to protect from certain variants of Ransomware, there is no single tool that will protect 100% from a ransomware attack. And with variants of Ransomware always changing, it is best not to assume that AntiVirus will protect you from all harmful threats.

3. My software is up-to-date, i’m fine

 It is a known fact that many versions of the Ransomware virus have exploited vulnerabilities in certain versions of software, and keeping your software up to date can minimize these vulnerabilities. However, even if your software is up-to-date your system can still be vulnerable to attack in other ways. With the publicity that the recent WannaCry Virus has seen, many people are under the impression that Ransomware primarily targets software bugs. Again, this is just one variation in a sea of versions of Ransomware that are constantly changing. 

4. My email is filtered by an email security solution, I can’t get infected

Email security solutions are a great tool to prevent spam, phishing and viruses from entering your inbox. Most solutions are effective and do a good job of accurately filtering suspicious emails. However, as we mentioned above, no one solution is 100% effective against Ransomware. If suspicious emails do make it through your email solutions, avoid opening or forwarding them.

The Bottom Line:

With a debilitating virus such as Ransomware, it is best to not make any assumptions regarding your security. Each and every threat should be handled with the utmost care and attention. The best way to avoid Ransomware is to be informed and prepared – operate as though an attack is imminent. As we have mentioned, no one solution is 100% effective against Ransomware, therefore it is wise to also implement solutions that help your business to quickly recover from an attack, such as a backup and disaster recovery solution. Contact us for more information

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