Held for Ransom

Stories about businesses both large and small being held hostage by ransomware, which locks away data until owners pay up, are becoming more common in news media these days. In response to growing threats, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opened its fall technology series with a ransomware workshop, addressing issues such as whether or not payment will result in retrievable files, and what lessons can be learned from law enforcement efforts on this matter. An article in the National Law Review cited experts as saying “ransomware is the most profitable form of malware in history”, with more than $375 million paid out so far this year.

The article encouraged the following steps for organizations to minimize risk of ransomware:

1.    Folding ransomware strategies into your company’s existing and ongoing security risk analysis and management program.

2.    Using standardized procedures for access to detect and contain malware effects.

3.    Train employees to be watchful for malware and report occurrences.

4.    Regular maintenance and testing of data incident response and business continuity programs.