Stop! Think Before You Click

By Masood Ahmed

With the internet ruling at the fingertips of every individual and organization, the activities and transactions have become more prone to cyber-attacks. Every individual must become familiar with a variety of today’s common cyberthreats, by learning how to spot a cyberattack, an individual can make smarter security decisions and prevent attacks.

Cyber extortion or ransomware attacks are made by individuals or organizations who hijack very critical and confidential documents that they use to blackmail for money.

Ransomware in numbers:

How to prevent criminals from hijacking your files?

Hackers are successful at ransomware attacks because they use phishing — tricking you into giving out sensitive information or taking a potentially dangerous action, like clicking on a link or downloading an infected attachment. They do these using emails disguised as contacts or organizations you trust so that you react without thinking first.

The consequences of ransomware are not limited to financial loss. They can include Shutting down websites, postponing medical treatments, deactivating badge scanners, closing schools, disrupting phone or email service

Easy steps can be taken to stop or slow-down these scams. Keep your eyes open and follow these tips.

Ø  Install System Updates: Software providers release frequent updates to their products to increase protection against ransomware. Always install them right away.

Ø  Back up data: Routinely backup your data. Follow your organization’s policy for where and how to safely store it.

Ø  Report it immediately: If you become a victim of a ransomware attack, report it immediately. Do not hesitate. Turning off the device might also prevent things from getting worse.

Ransomware is just another scam that we can beat if we keep our eyes open, backup files, and work together to keep data safe by following below simple tips

Do’s à Strong password, Dual factor authentication, Change password frequently, check your Bank/credit transactions frequently, ensure proper training to users, Data encryption.

Don’ts à  Do not share your personal information with anyone, do not share bank accounts on email or chat, do not share OTP’s, do not click on suspicious link, do not use net banking on third party system

How to identify?

  • Shows urgency/Action required immediately
  • Attracts a high reward
  • consequence if no action taken
  • illegitimate description of link
  • Enter credentials

Masood Ahmed is a leading Security Architect and Certified Information System Auditor; he has 15 years of experience in the Cybersecurity of Financial applications. He is the creator of Energy Transfer UI Masking and Data Protection Tool, which is a fortune 100 company based in Texas. Masood is a lifetime member of Computer society of India, ISACA and IEEE which are internationally recognized associations in computer science research. In his current role as Manager of Enterprise Financial Applications, he is a motivated driver who inspires people by publishing articles on data protection and process controls refer Data Privacy Blog. He has represented at annual GRC conferences, as a speaker at Americas SAP User Group and invited to cybersecurity conferences.