Monday, August 1, 2016

2016: The Year of Ransomware

1 billion dollars is a lot of money to lose to Ransomware attacks.The infographic included here communicates the impact of these attacks in 2016 and why we should all be paying attention.
Viruses that destroy data and Malware that steal our data are familiar and have been around a long time but what is Ransomware? Ransomware holds your data hostage with the usual goal of extorting a ransom payment for its release. In the same way that viruses and malware find their way onto your computer, hackers use malicious code to encrypt your data and delete or destroy your backups.

We can mitigate the threat by using the common methods used to prevent viruses and malware with antivirus software, firewalls, and regular system updates.  It is also important as a community that we be careful with our online activities.  As we hear on the news the most prepared entities can still fall prey to cyber attacks. The second thing that must be done is preparation for potential data loss. Here at District 219 we have the Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP) which documents the necessary steps needed to recover from a disaster, including comprehensive backups onsite and offsite. This plan and other IT related district policies are regularly reviewed and updated to keep us ready and prepared.


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