Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that encrypts the victim’s data or locks their computer system, making it inaccessible. The attacker then demands a ransom payment, usually in cryptocurrency, to decrypt the data or unlock the system. Ransomware attacks can be devastating for individuals, businesses, and government organizations, leading to data loss, financial impact, and reputational damage.
Ransomware attacks often start through phishing emails, malicious downloads, or compromised websites. Once the malware infiltrates the victim’s system, it encrypts files or locks the system, displaying a ransom note with payment instructions. The attackers often threaten to delete the encrypted data or release it publicly if the ransom is not paid within a specified time frame.
Preventing ransomware attacks requires a multi-layered security approach, including regular software updates, employee training, strong authentication methods, and network segmentation. It is also crucial to have regular backups of critical data stored offline or in a secure cloud environment, as this allows organizations to restore their systems without paying the ransom.