The invention of the internet revolutionized the world in an entirely unique way. The internet made finding jobs, studying, shopping, and even conducting business deals infinitely easier by effectively shifting the act of communication onto a digitized platform. In doing this, companies and individuals all over the world were – and still are – able to communicate far more effectively.
Unfortunately, as the rise of the revolution that is the internet continued to expand and improve, cybersecurity became an issue as well. invading user’s privacy is actually far easier to do online than in person, and the risks of our increased use of the internet are becoming more heavy-duty than they once were. Honestly, it makes complete sense that some would take advantage of the system.
As the uses for the internet expand day by day, so does our reliance on the technology. As people use the internet more often, they enter more of their data into the system, effectively making their day-to-day life more convenient. But what most people are seemingly unaware of is that in doing this, they are also making themselves more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks. By encrypting data or locking down systems, ransomware targets unsuspecting organizations & individuals. Using this form of malware, online attackers can infiltrate a user’s device and use that invasion to demand ransom of some kind (most commonly cryptocurrency, these days).
According to Anand Khanse from TheWindowsClub.com, Ransomware is a form of malware that either locks your device and prevents access to it, or it encrypts your data and makes it inaccessible to you. To access your device or to be able to access your data, you have to pay a ransom amount to the hackers, which is usually in the form of a Cryptocurrency. Your device could get infected with ransomware if you click on a bad link, installed a suspect plugin or software, or opened a malicious email attachment.
There are literally countless exploits being carried out online, and while can be sophisticated in nature, there are absolutely some that are more discrete or mundane in their foundation – this in no way means that they are more ineffective, just simply that they are not as intricate as some of the more complex online cyber scams out there.
Protecting one’s data from ransomware attacks can be quite difficult, especially given the recent development where attackers alter programs to get past the installed anti-virus detection systems that are put in place on most devices these days.
Attackers will sometimes launch wholesale cyber attacks, which weave an intricate web of continuous taps, or they will go for the slow burner technique, in which they unleash their ransomware through diligent planning and systematic execution. Each of these approaches is incredibly effective, and both bring with them the power to take down even the most well-protected systems. The typical threat when one experiences a cyberattack is that the attacker will use the ransomware to erase everything unless the user agrees to pay a lump sum in exchange for the safe return of their device and all the data stored on it. As more and more of our lives become entangled and stored on electronic technologies, this form of ransom is especially effective in this current digitized era.
It is not just individuals and companies that are finding themselves the target of digital ransoms, with entire cities being targeted for larger ransoms in the last year or two alone. The increasingly brutal nature of these cyberattacks is forcing individuals all over the world to be wary, regardless of how safe those individuals might feel. Cyber-crime is among the most profitable businesses in the world. Regardless of if that business is legal or not, the fact remains the same – while there is money (ransom) to be made, there will be individuals that take it upon themselves to exploit cybersecurity and use it to benefit themselves – regardless of if it is legal or not. Estimated to cost over $3 trillion annually across the world, cybercrimes are actively lulling people out of their false sense of security and into nightmares where their data is held ransom by threat of release, or in some cases where the data is blocked from the user’s device itself, threat of withheld information.
As technology continues to develop and expand, our usage of said technologies also becomes steadily more ingrained in our day-to-day lives. The obvious risk to investing time into most concepts is that an individual could be prone to targeted attacks of some kind. The use of the internet is no different, with cybersecurity becoming an increasing cause for concern. As ransomware becomes stronger and seemingly more popular, it is important to remain diligent with things like digital data entry or even general internet usage. As digital attackers continue to target and spread their malicious malware, the number of threats to cybersecurity nearly always increases annually. There are steadfast virus protectors & anti-ransomware tools available on the market to help protect devices, but even so, there is a necessity and growing awareness to go out of one’s way to protect their data. As technology expands, there comes with that expansion a need to guard against the downfalls of such digitized expansion.