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Emerging IT Insights

Ransomware Attacks Expected to Double in 2017


Chris Ball

Tech writer, Emerging IT


Ransomware is malicious software that stops you from using your computer – then requests a ransom payment.

It's a very prevalent IT security threat. Over two-months in 2016, there were more than 224,000 ransomware attacks recorded in Australia alone*. In fact, attacks are expected to double this year according to breach response insurance provider Beazley.

What's the threat?
Ransomware normally takes control of your applications and computer or encrypts data files so you can't open them. If you are unlucky enough to be infected, it's important to understand that paying the ransom does not always ensure you’ll get back use of your files or PC.   

Watch out for:

  • unsafe email or email attachments;
  • fake or suspicious websites (enters via your browser);
  • bogus support phone calls that aim to direct you to a suspicious website;
  • clicking on malicious links on social media or instant messenger.

To protect yourself:

  • ensure all software on your computer is patched and up to date;
  • antivirus software and firewall protection is up to date;
  • sensitive company information is securely backed up in a remote or offsite storage facility.

*Large international software security vendor.

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