Ransomware is expected to extend its reach from personal computers to smartphones and other mobile devices. The target is bigger too: businesses, not just consumers. In the past, ransomware campaigns typically demanded payment, allegedly from the FBI or other law enforcement, to unfreeze PCs for supposedly watching porn or to remove bogus online viruses. But now, the success of past ransomware campaigns has sparked new concerns that future attacks will capture data in corporate computer systems and hold it for ransom.
Now is the time for organizations to plan mitigations for ransomware. Besides running up-to-date anti-malware software from a vendor you trust, backups are extremely important. For many of the systems that get infected by this type of threat, the only guaranteed way to recover data that has been encrypted by attackers is to restore it from backup after the system has been disinfected or rebuilt. Leveraging the cloud to do this is a low-cost option.
Cyber criminals are continuing to exploit vulnerabilities in computer devices, and the people who use them. Consumers and business leaders must be diligent in guarding against these scams. IDentity Theft 911, a provider of data risk and identity management services, has identified the top cyber scams to expect this year.