BUSINESSES in the south are being warned about a new type of ransomware that uses a spam email disguised as an invoice to lock data and paralyse companies.
Hampshire IT firm Aura is warning organisations to be on their guard for a new strain of ‘Locky’ malware, which is beingused by cyber criminals to hold businesses to ransom to decrypt files.
Aura’s warning comes as it has launched a practical guide to protect businesses in the south from ransomware attacks. The free downloadable e-book The Business Guide to Ransomware outlines the most common ransomware threats and details practical steps businesses can take to reduce the risk of an attack.
Ransomware has become the most popular form of malware used in cyber-attacks, making up almost 40 per cent of breaches, coinciding with a six-fold increase in the number of emails infected by ransom softwares over the past two years.
Ransomware encrypts data on infected systems, locking victim’s files and allowing criminals to demand payment to release them.
Tim Walker, a cybersecurity expert and managing director of Aura Technology, said: ‘Spam campaigns spreading this new strain of Locky are now operating on a massive scale.
‘Ransomware is distributed in a variety of ways and is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is constantly evolving.
‘Frequently, small business IT teams are stretched thin and, in some cases, rely on outdated technology due to budgetary constraints.
‘This is the perfect storm for ransomware vulnerability – and the impact can be crippling on any organisation, both financially and operationally.’
To download the guide go to auratechnology.com