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The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The funny thing about ransomware is that they give them very strange names: Bad Rabbit sounds like the name of a villainous bunny who gets his comeuppance in some type of modern nursery rhyme, not malware that would ravage hundreds of European businesses. Locky seems like the son of Candado de seguridad, a character Medeco would come up with to educate kids on proper physical security. The latest in a long line of funny-named ransomware, SamSam, isn’t a pet name for your pet ferret you perplexingly named Sam, it is one of the worst ransomware strains ever, and it has caught the attention of U.S. Federal law enforcement.

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The Dangers of Ransomware and How IT Support in Miami Can Help

Ransomware is one of the fastest growing cyber security problems that IT support company in Miami deal with. In fact, it has grown from 4 million in 2015 to over 638 million in 2016. The majority of attacks happen when victims open infected emails or click on pop-ups, enabling malicious code to travel throughout the computer, which eventually locks down. A message is then displayed, which demands that the victims transfer money (typically a specific amount of bitcoin) to regain access to their computers. If the victim is an administrator with access to multiple computers, ransomware can lock out each computer, which may result in shutting down the whole company. The rise of “ransomware-as-a-service” (RaaS) has significantly contributed to the spread of ransomware, as it allows more cyber criminals access to this malicious form of software.

Here are a few more ways that RaaS has caused widespread havoc throughout the IT industry:

Accessibility

Ransomware-as-a-service is designed to be easily accessible for a wide variety of users, even those without programming skills or sophisticated equipment. Advanced criminals write the code for this malicious software, but they make it readily available for anyone to download and use. Sometimes they charge a small fee, while other times it is free. Nevertheless, the accessibility of ransomware has made it much easier for anyone to use, contributing to a dramatic increase in attacks.

Easily Spread

Besides being cheap and easy to download, ransomware can spread rapidly in only a short amount of time. Many corporations are turning to IT support company in Miami to combat against these cyberattacks. With RaaS allowing anyone access to ransomware, it is more readily available than many other forms of cyberattacks. Ransomware can be more lucrative than stealing someone’s identity, and there is a lower risk of being caught when payments are made through Bitcoin.

High Costs

Ransomware attacks can result in excessive costs in only a short amount of time. Many companies pay the ransom because they cannot afford to be shut down for an extended length of time. Large corporations have paid millions of dollars in ransom because they were unable to find the source of the attack. As long as companies pay these criminals, ransomware will continue to be one of the most popular cyberattacks.

As you can see, the use of ransomware-as-a-service has become a major concern. Companies that rely on IT support company in Miami can avoid becoming the next victim through the use of the latest security updates. At Michell Consulting Group, we offer the latest security to help businesses avoid becoming the next victim of ransomware. Using the latest technology, our technicians specialize in helping businesses of all sizes assess their risk and protect themselves from cyberattacks. Contact us today and let us help guard your business from the ever-changing threats in today’s world.

Your IT Support Provider in Miami Should Cover Ransomware Attacks

There is no better time than the modern day IT world for business owners to understand how to protect their data from cyberattacks, especially ransomware. While a ransomware may lead you to react hastily, it is always a good practice to implement best practices in IT security to overcome such an attack. First, ransomware attacks take the form of screen-locking malware or encrypting viruses. Thus, such an attack will typically lock you out from your computer network resources. Therefore, it is critical for you to implement regular data backup from your IT support provider in Miami. Backing up your data regularly will provide you with a fallback plan in case of a ransomware attack.

Steps to Recover from Ransomware Attacks

In most cases, ransomware attacks encrypt malware which holds your computer network resources “hostage.” While you may not have the in-house expertise to recover your computer network from such a technical nightmare, your IT support provider in Miami should be able to provide you with backup copies of your lost files.

However, that is not all. You should also have your computer networks disconnected from the Internet and all external devices. This will curb the ransomware from spreading to other parts of your computer network and cloud-based services. Once you have done this, the next step is to deploy anti-malware software tools to clean the ransomware from the infected workstations in your computer network. With a credible IT support provider, it is possible to have them conduct the “cleaning” for you. Although deleting the ransomware from your computer network will not automatically restore your files, you will be able to identify the particular type of ransomware that you are dealing with. Consequently, you will have an in-depth understanding of the level of cyber security measures to deploy to protect your computer network from such attacks.

Do Not Pay the Ransom

While you might be stressed and wish that you could make the ransomware attack go away, paying the ransom will not resolve it. Do not fall for the temptation to pay the attackers since the real target is not your money, but to sabotage your business. Most cyberattacks disguised as ransomware do not resolve after you pay the ransom money. Therefore, it is a good idea to ignore the ransom demands and focus on restoring the integrity of your computer network. You may have multiple end points of your computer network affected, but cleaning the ransomware from the infected device is achievable with the expertise of a credible IT support provider. Once your computer network is free from the ransomware, you can restore your files from your backup files.

At Michell Consulting Group, we provide reliable IT support solutions in Miami which include cloud-based backups to protect your business from cyberattacks. Contact us today to learn more.

Ransomware and the Importance of Prevention, Recovery, and IT Services in Miami

Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number malware attacks against businesses and organizations. The primary threat in the current technological atmosphere for hospitals, major corporations, and other establishments is ransomware. Most companies are being forced to rethink their security plans due to the numerous reports of halted operations and high financial demands. If you are uncertain about the implication of ransomware, consider this brief discussion on the dangerous malware and the importance of IT services in Miami to your business security.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware can be defined as malicious programs which are designed to prevent or at least limit a user from accessing and using their digital data. The objective of this type of viral software is extortion. In simple terms, the attack is deliberate and the intention of the hacker is to force an organization or business to pay in order to regain control over their system. There are different ways in which the malware can penetrate your computer network. The program can be disguised as another type of file and downloaded mistakenly from emails or websites. The network can also be infected when harmful links are clicked. In targeted attacks, a software worm can be forced into a network.

Common Forms of Ransomware

There are different types of ransomware which are commonly used to attack computer networks. The most popular in the modern setting is encrypting malware. When this software penetrates your system, it will transform your data into a cipher or code, making it unreadable. Ideally, when the demanded ransom is paid, the hacker provides the decryption key to the victim. Non-encrypting ransomware normally locks the network screens or the files, preventing access until the demands are met. Another form of an attack embeds a virus into the system, and the hacker threatens to use the malware to expose stored data if a ransom is not paid.

Security Measures for Prevention

You should consult an IT services expert in Miami to help your business in creating a prevention and protection against ransomware. In general, there are some crucial measures that every business can take to prevent exploitation by hackers. First, updates should be implemented for bug fixes and patching purposes. For instance, a critical security patch which was designed to prevent vulnerability to malware like WannaCry was provided, but most users had not implemented it. Second, security software such as antivirus and firewalls should be in place and up to date. In addition, every company should train employees on the right cyber security protocols and hold them accountable.

Establishing a Disaster Recovery Plan

Apart from prevention, your company should have a disaster recovery plan in case your data is lost through a malware attack. This will promote business continuity and minimize the financial repercussions of an unexpected IT problem. There are different strategies which you can choose for this purpose. Private and hybrids cloud solution are the most popular choices for large and growing because data will be replicated continuously, secured in an offsite location and restored with ease.

For top-tier IT solutions and security that you can rely on, trust us at Michell Consulting Group. Our IT services expert in Miami are always ready to help you with your business needs. If you would like to learn more about your options for protection against ransomware and the best disaster recovery solutions, contact us today.

Ransomware, Sandboxing, and How IT Support in Miami Can Help

Ransomware is gaining worldwide attention recently, especially after the WannaCry attack that infected more than 200,000 computers in over 150 countries. As a business owner, you should be aware of the dangers of ransomware, as well as the protective measures you can use for all your systems. One such measure is the knowledge and expertise of an IT support professional in Miami. Here are some facts about ransomware and what you (and your IT support provider) can do to combat it.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks your computer and holds your entire files hostage until you pay a certain amount of money. There are two main types of ransomware: lockscreen ransomware and the more troublesome encryption ransomware. Lockscreen ransomware displays a full-screen message that prevents you from interacting normally with your device, demanding a ransom to unlock it again. Encryption ransomware scrambles your files, demanding a fee be paid for the encryption key needed to unscramble them again.

How Can I Protect Against Ransomware?

Sandboxing is a vital security practice that isolates programs, preventing malicious or malfunctioning programs from damaging the rest of your computer. The fun part is you can create your own sandboxes to test applications.

Another way to safeguard your business is to maintain good security. With the help of your IT support provider in Miami, install anti-malware utilities on your device, update all applications and software regularly, and use a reliable backup and recovery system to prevent data loss.

How Does Ransomware Infect My System?

Typically, ransomware infects your system when you visit a website that forces your device to download malicious code. You may also be tricked into downloading ransomware disguised as something else, such as an email attachment or a software utility.

How Can I Remove Ransomware From My System?

You can usually remove ransomware with standard anti-malware utilities. If you’re locked out of your device, it may be possible to regain access if you reboot it in safe mode.

How Do I Recover My Files?

Your ability to recover your files depends on whether someone encrypts your files and what recovery systems you have in place. Some ransomware only claims to encrypt files but doesn’t actually do so. In this case, it may be enough to simply remove the infection. If your files are encrypted, you may need to restore them from backups. Your system must be cleared of any malware before recovery can take place.

How Can The Message Include My IP Address?

Your IP address isn’t normally hidden unless you take steps to conceal it. There are a great many tools that can uncover your IP— the ransomware creator probably included such a tool in their design.

Could The Authorities Have Detected Illegal Activity On My System?

No. This is a ruse the malware developer employs to make you pay. Ransomware messages can look convincing, with the names and logos of legal authorities prominently displayed. However, law enforcement will not interact with you in this way.

I Can’t Access My System Or My Files. Should I Pay The Ransom To Regain Access?

Whether or not you decide to pay will depend on your situation. Be aware that paying the ransom may not allow you to regain access to your files. If you do pay, the culprit may target you for future attacks.

What Should I Do If I’ve Already Paid?

If you’ve paid using a credit or debit card, or an online payment service such as PayPal, you might be able to recover the money from your payment provider. If you’ve used a digital currency such as Bitcoin, recovering the money may be difficult, if not impossible. Contacting law enforcement, such as the police, can be a useful first step.

Always remember that protection against malware is protection against ransomware. Keep your devices and systems secure and back up your files regularly to protect yourself against this kind of threat. For trusted IT support services in Miami that you can depend on, contact us at Michell Consulting Group today.