Nowadays, most organizations keep their important data and documents as computer files.
However, because they are often full of personal and banking data, corporate IT systems and databases can be a goldmine for cyber criminals.
In fact, in recent years, they have taken hostage contractors who have not made cyber security a priority. They have especially done so by using CryptoLocker, malicious ransomware software.
Here is more information on CryptoLockers and why you should strengthen the cyber security of your corporate data.
What are CryptoLockers?
CryptoLockers are computer threats that have become much more common in recent years. They are malicious software such as Trojan horses that infect a computer and then look for files to encrypt. This includes everything on hard disks and all media connected to the computer, such as USB sticks or any shared network drive. CryptoLockers can even access online backup files in a cloud.
Once an IT system is infected, files are locked using a technique called asymmetric encryption. This method relies on two computer keys, one public and one private. Hackers encrypt data using the public key, but they can only decrypt it using the unique private key they hold.
The CryptoLocker virus will display warning screens indicating that your data will be destroyed if you do not pay a ransom to obtain the private key, hence the name “ransomware.”
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Potential impacts of a CryptoLocker cyberattack on your business
If your organization’s computer system is not well protected against cyber attacks such as CryptoLocker, you risk a variety of negative repercussions. Some of them may even threaten the sustainability of your business.
Significant monetary losses
Businesses affected by ransomware can suffer significant monetary losses.
They may have to temporarily suspend their business operations because they no longer have access to their IT infrastructure, which is held hostage by hackers.
Stolen intellectual property (the plans of a prototype for example) via a computer attack can also have a cost for a company.
Moreover, repairing damaged IT systems can result in unanticipated expenses that affect the budget balance.
Companies from a variety of industries are subject to strict regulations governing the management of sensitive customer data.
A CryptoLocker-type computer attack can make it impossible for an organization to ensure the confidentiality of the personal information it keeps on its system. It could therefore be subject to fines or regulatory sanctions.
A tarnished reputation
Customers of a company affected by data theft can lose the trust of their customers, especially when the case is high-profile. This can lead to the termination of business partnerships and contracts.
In some cases, individuals and organizations whose personal information has fallen into the hands of hackers will go so far as to take legal action against the company affected by the CryptoLocker.
How to strengthen your cyber security and protect yourself from CryptoLockers
Now that you know the serious consequences of cyber attacks, here are some steps you can take to improve your cyber security.
- Make sure your antivirus, firewall and other protection software are regularly updated. These can detect many of the most recent computer threats.
- Keep backups of all your documents on a variety of platforms. It is much easier and faster to recover your documents from a backup file than to decrypt them if you have been the victim of a ransomware.
- Adopt an authorization management model that minimizes your employees’ ability to modify files containing sensitive data. This can limit the spread of a CryptoLocker since it can only infect folders that a user can
- Monitor abnormal file activity and user behaviour to detect, report, and respond to potential threats.
Groupe SL: your cyber security and data protection ally
It has become clear that effective cyber security measures are essential for businesses of all sizes. SMEs and smaller businesses obviously don’t always have the resources to do this in-house.
If you need help protecting yourself from viruses, CryptoLocker, data leaks and other computer threats, contact our team of cyber security specialists! We will be able to discuss your needs and propose adapted solutions.