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Beyond Email: 5 Alternative Ways to Fall Victim to Ransomware

  • Beyond Email: 5 Alternative Ways to Fall Victim to Ransomware-

    Protecting Yourself When Using Social Media

    Social media users should be cautious about the links they click, the videos they watch, and the photos they choose to open. Do not trust a link or an enticing offer just because it appears to be coming from a familiar brand. Offers for free iPhones, airline tickets or click-bait — like exclusive photos or videos — are likely tied to a scam that could contain harmful malware. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. If a user is aware of a malicious URL, a SWF/URL filtering and anti-phishing endpoint solution is a way to protect yourself and your organization from a ransomware attack via social media platforms. If the URL is unknown, a URL scanning security solution to detect malware would be needed.

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Beyond Email: 5 Alternative Ways to Fall Victim to Ransomware

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  • Beyond Email: 5 Alternative Ways to Fall Victim to Ransomware-7

    Protecting Yourself When Using Social Media

    Social media users should be cautious about the links they click, the videos they watch, and the photos they choose to open. Do not trust a link or an enticing offer just because it appears to be coming from a familiar brand. Offers for free iPhones, airline tickets or click-bait — like exclusive photos or videos — are likely tied to a scam that could contain harmful malware. If something looks too good to be true, it probably is. If a user is aware of a malicious URL, a SWF/URL filtering and anti-phishing endpoint solution is a way to protect yourself and your organization from a ransomware attack via social media platforms. If the URL is unknown, a URL scanning security solution to detect malware would be needed.

Ransomware, without a doubt, is dominating the cyber-threat landscape by holding critical systems and data hostage in industries ranging from health care and finance to government and energy. Ransomware is a class of malware that, when distributed to a system, renders victims' systems unusable by encrypting computers and data or by locking applications. The attacker's goal is to blackmail the victim into paying a ransom in exchange for decryption keys, allowing them to regain control of their systems and data.

Most information and reports about ransomware, however, have focused on phishing as a conduit for ransomware delivery and often overlook other distribution methods in use. Attackers are becoming craftier with their methods to spread malware that encrypts files and locks data, blindsiding victims before they even realize they have been attacked.

So while organizations and individuals are performing everyday tasks – like running their businesses in the cloud and using social media – alternative ways to receive ransomware, which don't require victims to open a phishing email, also pose a serious threat. In this slideshow, Aditya Sood, PhD., director of security and Elastica Cloud Threat Labs at Blue Coat, discusses five alternative ways that organizations can fall victim to ransomware and offers advice on how they can protect themselves.