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Suppose ransomware or an encryption trojan gets onto your device. In that case, it locks your operating system or encrypts your data, getting hold of a digital hostage such as files and demanding a ransom to restore control to you. Currently, ransomware infections occur in various ways, including spam emails, software downloads, and insecure and fraudulent websites. The attacks leave victims in situations where they must pay horrendous sums of money for the possible release of their files and systems.
In case you are wondering if you are a potential target of a ransomware attack, there are a number of ways you can get infected, including the use of devices with outdated software, running unpatched operating systems and browsers, lacking proper backup plans, and not paying sufficient attention to cybersecurity measures. The annual Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Cybersecurity Survey suggests nearly 70 percent of Canadian organizations facing a ransomware attack last year paid the demands to avoid downtime, reputational damage, and other costs. The survey further reveals that one-quarter or more of organizations that suffered a ransomware attack were damaged in terms of recovery costs, loss of revenue and customers, or reputational damage.
Fortunately, you can reduce the likelihood of finding yourself in front of an infected computer or encrypted file by being prepared. In fact, it is possible to significantly reduce the chances of infection by implementing the following controls and best practices. So, as we wrap up Cybersecurity Awareness Month, here are our top 7 ways to prevent ransomware attacks.