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May 13, 2016

Ransomware Attacks Hit Record High in April

For many business leaders, there was little time to stop and smell the May flowers this month. Instead, a large number of professionals were busy cleaning up after being hit with devastating ransomware attacks in April. Ransomware, if you’re unfamiliar with the term, is a type of malware that enters into a machine and locks data until a hefty ransom is paid.

According to new data released by Enigma Software, April 2016 was the worst month to date for ransomware in the U.S.

In the beginning of 2016, Enigma began to see a major uptick in the total number of detected ransomware attacks. In February, there was a 19.37 percent increase from January. In March, there was a 9.46 percent increase.

Now, sit down for this one:

In April, ransomware infections increased by a whopping 158.7 percent.

As of right now it is unclear how many of these attacks resulted in ransom payments. We reached out to Enigma for more information, and are eagerly awaiting their reply.

In the meantime, it’s worth considering that, when faced with the decision about whether to pay, many Americans are choosing to do so. As we discussed in a recent blog post, research shows that half of American ransomware victims have opted to pay a ransom in order to regain access to their data; 40 percent of respondents claim they would pay a ransom should the need arise.

What is clear following the Enigma report is that, right now, hackers are having a field day with ransomware. If your business is not protected, it could be in great danger of getting hit.

“Cyber criminals tend to go with what works, and in this case the threat of losing valuable photos and other documents is enough to make some people pay the ransom,” Enigma spokesperson Ryan Gerding stated. “Every day, thousands and thousands of people turn on their personal computers only to find their most precious photos and other files have been locked up by bad guys.”

If you are just now waking up to the threat of ransomware, don’t be dismayed. While it’s just about impossible to prevent targeted ransomware from being sent to your organization, it is possible to form a plan to decrease the likelihood of getting attacked. Don’t wait for someone else in your organization to spearhead this initiative. Act now!

Apex Technology Services is a managed services provider serving a large number of businesses in New York City and the greater New York City area, including White Plains and Fairfield County. Apex Technology Services can work with your organization to provide critical data backups, cybersecurity training for employees and ongoing network maintenance. By working with Apex Technology Services, you can take the first step in securing your files against an attack.

For more information about Apex, click here.

For further reading on ransomware, be sure to check out the following articles, too:

Congress Gets Hit with Ransomware, Sends Warning

URGENT FBI Ransomware Warning Issued

CryptMix Hacktrepeneurs use Charity Guilt-Trip Ransomware Angle

Your Hospital Was Just Hit With Ransomware. Should You Pay?

Three Ways to Avoid a Ransomware Payment

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