Ransomware is a type of Malware (malicious software) which locks / encrypts data on your systems. This restricts access to your data, to gain access a ransom must be paid to the malware creator.
Ransomeware infects computers / servers by via infected files, websites, download etc and often fools the users into thinking it is genuine anti-virus software, or a software update which may prompt the user to accept security warnings etc. Another common method is scareware, a screenshot is displayed below:
Once system security is bypassed a payload is delivered which encrypts files and folders which renders them useless.
The key to unlock your data is held only by the malware creator and is said to be provided once the ransom has been paid.
How to protect yourself from Ransomware:
If you are infected with Ransomware:
There are various tools which will help you remove the infection. Please note that removing the infection does not mean that you will be able to then access encrypted data. The most effective method to accessing data is to restore from backup once your system has been cleaned.
Once your computer has been cleaned we recommend ensuring adequate anti-virus software has been installed, and is up-to-date.
If you are concerned regarding the security of your network please get in touch to arrange a network and security assessment.