Why Businesses Should Care About Ransomware [source: cloudwards]

In the past couple of years, there has been a proliferation of ransomware attacks affecting individuals and organizations, ranging from government institutions to corporations, and small businesses.

It’s a fairly popular attack tactic among hackers, mostly because of its sheer capability to easily extort from victims.

But, what exactly are we talking about here?

What is Ransomware?

Imagine walking into your office one morning to find all your workstations padlocked, with a guy demanding hundreds of dollars to unlock them.

That’s exactly how ransomware works.

It’s a particular type of virus that encrypts files on a computer or smartphone, and subsequently, demands a ransom to decrypt data and restore your files.

Prevalence of Attacks

Ransomware continues to grow at an alarming rate.

Home and business computers in the United States have got hit with an average of 4,000 ransomware attacks each day this year – that’s a 300% increase over 2015, according to theU.S. Department of Justice.

And according to data released by the FBI, more than $24 million was lost by victims due to such attacks in 2015 alone.

This year, ransomware victims paid an estimated $209 million in just the first three months of this year.

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