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KANSAS CITY, MO – May 12, 2015 — /BackupReview.info/ — MDL Technology, an IT and managed services firm, issued a statement today about the increasing use of ransomware in the United States this year. The most recent case occurred in April 2015 when a Maine police department was forced to pay hackers for their data. At the beginning of 2015, three law firms in British Columbia were also forced to pay a ransom for their data.
Mark Dryer, president of MDL Technology, said, “Ransomware is becoming more aggressive this year with the CryptoWall Ransomware 3.0. The virus is targeting small businesses and personal computers operating on the bias that these computers have less security defences.”
CryptoWall Ransomware 3.0′s biggest targets are government municipalities and agencies and law firm offices. CryptoWall is also spreading to other industries, such as financial sectors. Once you are infected by ransomware, your files are encrypted so you no longer have access. CryptoWall will then demand a “ransom” to be paid in Bitcoin to get your files back.
Dryer said, “We have dealt with various instances of ransomware in the past few years. Luckily, we have been able to restore from backup to resolve the issue without clients having to pay a ransom. The worst case we had was the client lost three days of work which would have been longer if their data was not backed up.”
Instead of leaving computers vulnerable to ransomware, there are many things businesses can do now to protect data from CryptoWall Ransomware. The first step is to increase protection with next generation firewalls. This will prevent susceptibility to emails or file downloads to ransomware. Additionally, virus software for servers and desktops needs to have the latest versions installed. Browsers and operating systems should be continually updated to the latest version and passwords should be upgraded to be more complex.
The most crucial step to preventing CryptoWall Ransomware from damaging businesses is to backup data. If data is backed up, businesses can avoid paying the ransom entirely if data is backed up elsewhere. Dryer says, “Part of the process of verifying that backups are working is to perform a test restore. We are also recommending cloud based backup solutions for mobile users that store data on their local laptops.”
CryptoWall targets smaller businesses and personal computers because computer defenses are usually less sophisticated. Most government agencies and small law firms have an in-house IT guy who can only cover the basics. When your computer is taken over by ransomware, it requires a bigger IT firm to take care of it.
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