OEC Blog

Holding your parts data ransom

Holding your parts data ransom

Cybersecurity Ventures states that ransomware is expected to attack a business every 14 seconds by the end of 2019, and predicts that damage costs from it are predicted to hit $11.5 billion. It’s a cybersecurity threat that affects small business, family owned, and corporations alike. No person or industry is immune. So what is it and how do you make sure your valuable parts data isn’t affected?

Defining ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that “locks” your computer system or files and holds them for ransom, requiring a substantial payment in order to regain access. Sometimes ransomware can be in the form of annoying, fake antivirus popups. Other times they can be as destructive as completely encrypting (locking) all sensitive files on your computer (such as Word or Excel documents, photos, and more).

Ransomware attacks can happen to anyone

Ransomware is typically downloaded through opening malicious attachments in phishing emails, clicking on malicious links, or by visiting a website with malicious advertisements. The files or links that are used look harmless, tricking the victim to open them or download the content masquerading as a trust-worthy file.

Defending against ransomware

Probably the most important and effective way to prevent ransomware is learning how to detect phishing emails and malicious websites. Security awareness training is essential for you and your employees. Along with training, additional steps can be taken to help protect you from ransomware:

  • Make sure all systems and programs are up to date. Ransomware often takes advantage of various security flaws in systems. Once these vulnerabilities are discovered, manufacturers will typically release a “patch” for the vulnerability, helping protect you from ransomware and many other security threats.
  • Use a good anti-virus program and keep it up to date. These types of programs can often detect and prevent ransomware.
  • Keep backups of all systems, programs, and files either in a cloud service or on a system separate from the others. Ransomware often requires hefty fines in order to restore your systems and files. In 2017, one in five businesses who paid the ransom never got their system or files back. Backups will ensure that you still have copies of files unaffected by ransomware.

Being proactive in your data protection is key to defending your parts data. Neglecting the steps above can cost you and your company in a big way, don’t fall victim to ransomware – take necessary steps today!