Not too long ago, the CryptoLocker ransomware virus was all over the news, infecting over 250,000 computers in its first 100 days of release (at least that's the number reported - the real numbers are probably MUCH higher). The threat was fairly straightforward: Pay us or we'll delete all your data.

In four short years Ransomware has grown into a BILLION dollar industry!

Ransomware, like the CryptoLocker attack, works by encrypting your files to prevent you from using or accessing them. After your files are compromised, the hackers behind the attack then pop up a demand screen asking for payment within a set time frame (e.g., 72 hours or three days) in order to get the key to decrypt your files.

As the complexity of Ransomware infections have progressed they have forced thousands of business owners to lose data or pay up since there was no other way to decrypt the files.

Payment demands can range from $400 to $20,000 (think University of Calgary) or more. The highest paid ransom paid in Canada was just over $400,000. How many have 20 to 400k sitting around in a bank account collecting dust just waiting to pay a ransom to regain access to our important data?

Obviously, the best way to foil a ransomware attack is to be incredibly diligent about IT security; but with hundreds of thousands of new attacks being created daily, there are no guarantees that you won't get infected. Therefore, it's critical to maintain a full, daily backup of your data OFF-SITE so that WHEN you do get whacked with ransomware, you can recover all your files without having to pay the hackers a dime; and don't forget to back up off-site PCs, laptops, remote offices and third-party software data stored in cloud apps as well!

When it comes to ransomware, an ounce of prevention REALLY IS better than a pound of cure.

Click Here to access our new Executive Brief "The Top 10 Ways Hackers Get Around Your Firewall And Anti-Virus To Rob You Blind" to learn how to better thwart the cyber criminals and protect your data, client information and your business.