What Is Ransomware? A Guide on the Key Things to Know

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |what is ransomware|What Is Ransomware? A Guide on the Key Things to KnowYou got what seemed to be an official letter from your bank regarding a problem with your account. It does seem a little fishy but you open the email and follow the instructions listed. Everything seems fine until you try to use your computer again.

Many of your files are locked with a pop-up telling you that you have to pay a fee before you can get access to them again. You’ve become a victim of ransomware.

What is Ransomware? It’s probably the most annoying type of computer malware that you’ll ever have to deal with. Check out this guide to learn the ins and outs of how it works.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of computer malware that gets into your files and encrypts them. Once the attacker has blocked you off from using your programs, they’ll demand a fee to unlock them.

Don’t worry, the hackers are generous. They’ll give you instructions on how to pay them so you can get access to your computer again. The amount can be as small as a few hundred dollars or as large as a couple thousand.

How Did I Pick it Up?

There are a few places where you may have picked up the ransomware. The most common point of attack is your email. Hackers will send you an email that looks legit but is actually a scam.

The email will usually include a link for you to click on. If you follow it, your computer’s done for. There are some clever ransomware programs that can get into your computer files without tricking you like this but more often than not, it’s going to be an email.

Types of Ransomware

Encryption is common but it’s not the only method hackers will use to take over your computer. There’s also deletion and locking. Here are a few examples of what each one looks like so you know what you’re dealing with.


Encryption is the process of encoding data. If you don’t have the decryption key, you won’t be able to get access to your files. It’s as simple as that.

You can try to brute force your way through it and guess the decryption key. We’ll tell you that getting the correct series of numbers is next to impossible though.


Sometimes when you try to get rid of the ransomware you’ll get a threatening pop-up. It will tell you that continuing will result in the total loss of your data.

We suggest going ahead and deleting the files. As long as you have a backup, you should be okay. Keep in mind that deleting the files hardly results in complete ransomware removal most of the time.


Hackers have created a webpage that will try to trick you into thinking that the cops are after you. Unless you pay the fee they’re asking for, you’ll be sent away.

Anything that asks you for money no matter if it’s a webpage, email, or telemarketer, is a scam. The ransomware might disable your keyboard shortcuts to make getting rid of the webpage difficult but it won’t be impossible.

Are You a Target?

The truth is, everyone is a potential victim of ransomware. The most common victims are colleges. Universities have an IT team to get rid of breeches but it’s not a big one.

It makes it easy to slip in unnoticed. Certain businesses are also vulnerable because they’re likely to pay the fee the attacker is asking for.

Think about it, if you run a medical office, you need to get access to charts to do your job. Not to mention that you don’t want your patient’s information at the mercy of a hacker. You have no choice but to cave.

How to Protect Yourself

Now that you know a little bit about ransomware, let’s teach you how to protect yourself. We’ll start with the most basic rule. Watch what emails you open!

Don’t Open Fishy Emails

We will say that hackers are intelligent. Many of the emails they send look like legit ones. There are always ways to tell if the email is fake but many don’t realize it until it’s too late.

Whatever you do, if the email includes a link, think before you click. If the email includes an attachment, scan it with an antivirus program before you download it.

Backup Your Computer

Keep backups of all your computer files. This way, you can restore your data to the way it was before the virus attacked. Granted, according to, ransomware might be able to infect those as well.

Be Careful with Your Personal Information

Your personal information should be a carefully guarded secret. If an email asks you to respond to them using your social security number or your mother’s maiden name, you should question it.

We’ll tell you that almost no legit company will ask for something like that. Not in the first email anyway. Question everything.

Should You Give in and Pay?

Most people will tell you no. As much as you need or want to gain access to your files again, don’t pay the ransom. All that does is encourage them to go after some other poor unexpectant victim.

It’s also important to note that you might not even get your files back after you pay the fee. Some hackers will take your money and never give you the decryption key. Try every means possible to get rid of the malware before you pay a cent.

Be Prepared for a Ransomware Attack

What is ransomware? One of the most annoying branches of malware that you’ll ever have to deal with. The hackers encrypt your data and hold it ransom until you pay a fee to get the decryption key. The good news is that it’s not too hard to avoid the problem.

As long as you’re wary about the types of emails you open and the links that you click, you may never run into ransomware. That doesn’t mean you won’t stumble across other forms of malware though. Check out our blog daily for more ways to detect and get rid of viruses.

Five Advantages Of Cloud Computing For SMEs

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Cloud Computing|Five Advantages Of Cloud Computing For SMEsThe importance of cloud computing is overlooked by many businesses, it is vital for small and medium businesses to function at their best.

Why is cloud computing so important for SMEs? The idea of the cloud is that it is a network of remote servers that will allow you to access shared applications, storage, and other computing resources via an internet-based facility. The cloud replaces the need to have to install additional hardware of your own. The cloud is all around you, operating in your day to day life.

Everything is moving into the cloud. This is because there are a lot of cloud computing use cases that will make life a lot easier for users and businesses alike. It can improve cash flow, increase efficiency, and offers a lot of other advantages.


When you own a business, have the needed flexibility is essential. This is where cloud computing for SMEs can come in to help you. When you’re on the go, you know that you can rely on the cloud to give you access to modify and save the files you need from any device wherever you happen to be.

If you want to access virtual resources like protected storage, web applications, or redundant firewalls for example, then you can do this by using any device that is connected to the cloud via the internet. Activity like this can give any small business the upper hand on the competition.

Portability – Remote IT Infrastructure

As part of the advantage of flexibility, the cloud offers near limitless computer resources to its users regardless of their location.

The ability to allocate an entire server farm’s equivalent of computer power for your project or the task you need to do with just a few clicks is very appealing. Every major player in business uses a platform like this to give its users and internal employees access to secured data.

Data Security

Storing files and your important data via the cloud is often safer than more traditional storage on a phone or a computer. There are often many laters that are put into cloud computing security so the best cloud service providers can offer infrastructure will protect all your data.

Software Updates

Automatic software updates are another bonus that you can get from moving across to a cloud computing system. A key thing that can damage the productivity of a business is running out of data software. A lot of owners neglect this step, so it’s a common issue. With the cloud, it’s the job of the cloud service provider to manage any needed maintenance and software updates without you having to worry about it.

Environmentally Friendly

Cloud computing can easily be scaled to match your business needs. Before the cloud, you had to buy physical machines yourself, pay to power the whole server room, and pay employees to handle maintenance. Now, you only need to pay for the resources that you actually need. This helps the environment by reducing your carbon footprint.

How To Prevent Cybercrime Hurting Your Business

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Cybercrime|How To Prevent Cybercrime Hurting Your BusinessA relatively short time ago, cybercrime wasn’t an issue. It wasn’t even a word. Yet as technology has increased and we have become ever more reliant on the internet to run our daily lives and, of course, our businesses, cybercrime, cyberattacks, and hackers, are now something we have to protect ourselves and others from on a daily basis.

If a cybercriminal were able to infiltrate your business, they could do untold damage financially and to the company’s structure itself. Whether they hack your network for monetary gain or just to cause havoc, the result would be the same; your business would be hurt; possibly mortally so. This is why it is absolutely crucial to do everything you can to prevent this from happening. Here are some ways it can be done.

Use The Cloud

The cloud is a virtual storage space for important documents and sensitive information. It is exceptionally secure, much more so than a laptop or mobile device could ever be, and this means it is the ideal place to keep your most valuable data such as your customers’ payment details, their names and addresses, and your business banking information.

If you can store everything on the cloud, your business will be as secure as possible. Only those with passwords should be able to access your cloud account. Since the data is encrypted, even if someone did manage to get in, they wouldn’t be able to retrieve the information, rendering it entirely useless.

Strong Passwords

Regarding passwords, you will need to have a different password for every log in you have. This might be an irritation because you’ll have to remember several different passwords, but it’s much better than having just one password which, if it were to be compromised, would mean that absolutely everything you log into online would be at risk too. This would include your business information and even your personal financial information.

When you are creating passwords, they must be strong so that no one can guess them or hack them. To create a strong password, you will need a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and you should use upper and lower case. Make it a rule to change your passwords every six months or after ten logins to ensure they stay safe and secure.


Data encryption is another way to prevent any cyberattacks from being successful. When data is encrypted, it becomes impossible to read and is useless to anyone unless they have the encryption key. Since a cybercriminal wouldn’t have this, even if your laptop or mobile device were stolen, or if you lost a USB stick with all this data on it, no one else would be able to see it.

Encryption is one of the most critical elements of online security, but it can often be overlooked. Implementing it within your business gives you and your clients an additional layer of protection that really can make all the difference.

Cyber Security Tips From The Experts: How To Protect Your Data

StrategyDriven Article |Cyber Security Tips|Cyber Security Tips From The Experts: How To Protect Your DataAs cyberattacks are occurring more frequently, cyber security has become more of a necessity than just mere information that helps you keep your computer safe.

A wide variety of things can be done to keep your system safe from hackers and other threats, regardless of how you’re using your computer every single day. You can check this website for tips or work on your own to protect your data from hackers. This is an essential task as keeping your computer virus-free is one way to avoid cyberattacks and any other malicious programs.

What Are The Dangers Of Cyberattacks?

When it comes to how to cope with the effects of cyberattacks on your business, many companies make the mistake of assuming that it will only affect them and, then, they’ll be okay. However, the reality is that the potential scope of undesired (imprecise) consequences of cyberattacks can be considerably greater than those of an ordinary cruise missile or nuclear bomb simply because of the less certainty in their desired effects. If you’re not careful, then you could easily lose your reputation and credibility in the business community.

Reputational damage can range from a simple hit-or-miss loss of goodwill to a devastating blow, such as being blacklisted by your chosen social media platforms, being banned from online employment opportunities, and being unable to secure a job in the future. All of these are possible if you fail to take action against the attack on your business, or you try and put your own efforts in place without properly planning for the negative consequences of these attacks.

For example, if you’ve taken the time and money to build a positive online reputation for your business, then the damage may well be limited to a few negative stories in the press.

The effects of the attacks on physical and/or psychological reputations, however, can be much more damaging and can impact greatly upon the ability to attract the best candidates to your company. There are many people in the business world who are seeking work, and your reputation can literally be a determining factor as to whether or not you can secure the position you need. If your online reputation is damaged by an attack of another person or organization, this can have a far more detrimental effect on your chances at landing that new job than a hit-or-miss story in the local paper.

Additionally, having a negative reputation online may result in the inability to get a job at all in the future. You need to be very careful when it comes to the effects of these attacks because you never know what they could possibly bring.

How Can You Protect Your Data Online?

In the present day and age, there are so many people around the world who are being victimized by cyberattacks. They’ve lost their jobs, credit cards, identities, and even their lives. Having said that, it’s of the essence to protect your online data to the best of your ability.

It’s important to make sure that you’re doing everything that you can do to protect your computer from cyberattacks. The Internet has been a safe haven for hackers, but the good news is that there are many effective ways you can protect your data online. These include the following:

StrategyDriven Article |Cyber Security Tips|Cyber Security Tips From The Experts: How To Protect Your Data1.Use An Anti-Virus Program

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to be tech-savvy to protect your digital files and information from cyberattacks. Merely downloading and using an anti-virus program is enough to do the trick.

The software is available for both Windows and Macintosh, and it protects your computer against worms, viruses, Trojans, and malware. You can set up an anti-virus program to protect your computers, regardless if you’re using them for work or at home.

With the number of ant-virus programs available today, choosing one can be tough. So, if this is your first time using one, make sure to read this blog and other online articles so you’ll know better what to choose.

2. Avoid Downloading From The Internet

One of the most important cyber security tips from the experts is to be aware of the dangers and risks of using the Internet and downloading software from there. For instance, if you’re not sure about the security of a certain website or program, you should never click on a link or download a file from it.

However, if you’ve already downloaded the file and are curious about the security of it, then you should run a virus scan on the file. Viruses can cause much harm to a computer. Therefore, you should always be careful of what you do and what you download while online.

3. Don’t Give Away Confidential Information

The simplest cyber security tip you can follow is that you should never give away any confidential data, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, or passwords. Any information like the ones mentioned should be protected by a password or two, and these need to be a secret. This can be especially important if you’re more tech-savvy since you want to protect those who may be trying to get into your email or, worse, access your financial account.

The same is true for passwords that are shared with other people. There will be a lot of people out there who’ll try to break into those. You can also make sure that your system doesn’t contain any viruses, spyware, adware, or any other type of harmful software. This will help keep your computer free from any malicious elements.

4. Encrypt Information

Another important cyber security tip from the experts is that you should keep your information encrypted and safe from prying eyes. If you want to keep your information private and safe, then it should be in your best interest to encrypt your files, send them through the encrypted email, and keep them safely inside a hard drive.

Although this sounds almost too simple, it’s true that encryption is used to make certain that no one can read any of your data. You should make sure that your data is encrypted even if you’re not using a secure system. You should also make sure that it’s in a location that will be inaccessible to anyone, and that you have a backup plan in case anything happens to your computer.

5. Improve Your Password

It’s becoming a common problem among computer users to experience a sudden rise in data being sent or received over the Internet, and hackers are becoming more creative in their attacks on data. Many times, these hackers can also gain access to your network, so they can send their own data into your system as well. A hacker has many different ways of gaining access to a network, but the most common way to gain access is through the use of passwords or keylogging software.

You can prevent this from happening by using a password protection program. With password protection, it becomes impossible for a hacker to get any such information out of your system.

6. Install A Firewall

To avoid having your computer and the security system hacked, you can install a firewall. Firewalls are very effective when used together with anti-virus software to scan your network for malicious codes.

Protection is as easy as getting a firewall installed in your personal computer. This will allow you to set up a physical barrier between your computer and the Internet. When you don’t have an Internet connection, your firewall will block any hackers or outsiders from accessing your computer. This type of system is very effective because you’ll never have to worry about your personal data getting stolen. A firewall is typically installed on all new computers, or given to you when you buy one.

Firewalls don’t just stop data that’s coming into your computer from going out, but they also monitor your incoming and outgoing data. So, even if a hacker was able to bypass the firewall on your network, they won’t be able to get any information at all out of your system.

There are many different types of firewalls that you can choose from, but they all work in a similar fashion. When a hacker tries to access a computer, the system will detect that they’ve done so and will immediately close the window to prevent them from accessing your system any further. By doing this, your computer is now protected. The firewall is designed to prevent the use of unauthorized software, which can cause a number of problems if a hacker manages to get their way past your firewall.

7. Back Up Your Data

You should have a few different types of backup to protect your data in case something happens. For example, you can get a hard drive recovery system in case your computer fails because of a virus or any other security-related issue.

Another important thing you should have is a backup application that can be used in the event of a computer crash, as well as a reliable firewall that protects your system from outside sources. The most important thing is to have a complete set of software in place that you can use in the event of a failure.

StrategyDriven Article |Cyber Security Tips|Cyber Security Tips From The Experts: How To Protect Your Data8. Scan Your Computer Regularly

If you want to stay safe from cyberattacks, make sure to scan your computer regularly for errors and viruses, which may have occurred during the past. The software that you use to scan your system for these errors will work with the Windows registry, which will help identify the errors that have occurred in order to remove them. Once these errors have been removed from, your PC should run smoothly and without any glitches

However, it’s important to ensure that you’re running the correct version of the software so that your machine can be identified as being fully functional before attempting any further steps.

9. Avoid Visiting Unknown Sites

There are many different ways your data can be stolen from your computer, such as through phishing. A phishing scam is when someone uses your personal details in order to try and sell to another company. They may ask you for your bank account number, social security number, and other important information. If they’re successful in obtaining these pieces of information from you, then they’ll use these to either gain access to your bank account or make purchases.

In order to protect your data from cyberattacks, you should try and keep your computer running as fast as possible. You should also try to stay away from unknown websites. When visiting unknown sites, it would be very easy for malicious programs to steal your information. By avoiding the use of these types of sites, you’re giving yourself much better protection against phishing scams.

10. Work With A Professional

The best way to secure data storage system or vital information online is by hiring a computer security professional to look into the matter on your behalf. It would be much better if you would hire an experienced one to do the job for you.

While there are plenty of them who are not very efficient and are only concerned with their own profits, there are also many out there who are actually more efficient and provide better protection than the rest of the companies. Investing in trained and experienced computer system professionals is a cost-effective move for businesses, especially if you’re a novice to cyber security.

The professionals know what they’re doing, and you can be sure that they can provide the maximum protection that you could ever hope for. It’s just that most business owners aren’t aware that this kind of service is actually available today.

Knowledge Is Power

The Internet has become an integral part of people’s daily lives, and everyone uses it to communicate, research, and work. However, the fact is that the Internet is not safe enough to keep your data secure at all times. If someone hacks into a network you have, they can gain access to all your financial and personal information.

Make sure that none of these mishaps happen by using the tips in this article. As long as implemented regularly, these tips are enough for you to enjoy the World Wide Web without compromising your safety and identity!

Improve Business Security With These Core Hacks

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Business Security|Improve Business Security With These Core HacksWhen you are trying to run a modern company, it is important to do as much as you can to enhance the safety and security of the business. There are loads of things you can do that are going to help you make the most of this right now. The better you can protect your business the more important it is for you to be able to grow and develop as a brand, and there are plenty of ways of doing this.

You need to make sure you do as much as possible to think about how you can get this right, and there are loads of amazing ideas that will help enhance business security. One of the best things you can do is to focus on how your company is run in the safest and most appealing way. Here are some of the ways of improving business security and helping the company thrive and grow.


Most modern businesses would do well to have some form of CCTV, and this is even more important if your company has premises where equipment and machinery is stored. This is something you’re going to want to protect, and you need to try to make the most of this right now. Come up with the best ideas that can play a role in helping you look after your business, and it’s pretty clear that CCTV is one of the best ways of being able to do this. Think about what it takes to work on this right now, and there are a lot of factors that play a role in helping your company improve its security.


You have to try to make the most of doing as much as you can to take things to the next level. It is so important to integrate some sort of digital security procedures in order to make your business a bit safer and more secure. One of the best ways of being able to achieve this would be through an easy-to-use, on-site identity badge printer that can be used to create ID so that you know who is coming and going from the business, as well as being able to integrate keycards for entry and exit.


It is important to make sure you do as much as you can to look after the future and integrity of the business, and one of the best ways of doing this is to make sure you focus on cybersecurity, There are so many ideas that you need to work on that are going to allow you to focus on getting this right moving forward. Try to come up with some of the best ways of implementing cybersecurity in the business, and this is something you need to focus on right now.

Coming up with some of the best ideas to help you take your business security to the next level is really important because it is a great way of making everything easier for your business. There are a lot of factors that play a part in this, and you have to make sure you think carefully about the best ways of being able to improve your business security in the right sort of way.