Ransomware is an attack that can trick you into unnecessarily paying money to cybercriminals while causing you to lose your computer files forever. For businesses, these attacks can also result in a data breach and exposure of sensitive information. Mitigating ransomware is all about preparation and prevention, so we’ll walk you through why this attack occurs, and how you can defend against it.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware happens so frequently that it has a definition in the Oxford English Dictionary: “A type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.” Payment is often requested in bitcoin, the popular cryptocurrency, or in gift cards that can easily be sent to a “burner” email address. Unfortunately, if you’re hit by one ransomware attack, you’re likely to be hit again – a survey by Sophos found that not only did 54 percent of respondents experience ransomware, they were likely to experience two attacks or more.

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