Learn How to Prevent Being a Victim of Digital Kidnapping

Aprenda a se prevenir para não ser uma vítima do Sequestro Digital

Today, there are several types of attacks carried out by digital criminals seeking to obtain illicit profits. Among cybercrimes, one of the most feared by private companies and public entities is Digital Kidnapping.

Imagine one day, arriving at your company, you realize that you no longer have access to any of the computers connected to the network. Without understanding what is happening, you try to perform common procedures, such as turning the modem on and off and restarting computers, without success. Until you receive a message saying that your data and machines have been kidnapped, and that if you want to regain access to them, you must pay a ransom.

This is digital kidnapping, a type of crime that, according to a 2017 survey, has already affected about 51% of national companies, showing the popularity of this type of action by cybercriminals.

Join us to discover how digital criminals are able to carry out information and hardware kidnappings and learn how to avoid being another victim of digital kidnapping.

Digital Kidnapping – when your data is taken hostage

Today, data processing is a vital procedure in companies of all sizes and sectors. It is through the collected, stored, and analyzed information that strategies and actions are determined and decisions are made. In many cases, it is also essential for the completion of processes.

A company that does not have access to its data, as well as its systems and computers, operates in the dark. Even if there is the possibility of returning to the past and performing processes manually, this solution drastically reduces productivity, facilitates the occurrence of errors, and, moreover, cannot access previous information.

Being such an important asset for businesses, data, software, and hardware have attracted the attention of digital criminals, who use digital kidnapping to extort. Often, when this happens, companies end up succumbing to pressure and paying the ransom. Especially those that do not have data backups.

But how is this possible? How are hackers able to invade your network and take control of your machines?

The main means used by cybercriminals for digital kidnapping is ransomware, a type of computer virus capable of spreading rapidly throughout a network of computers, including machines located at other addresses and others connected to the internet. For contagion to begin, just one computer needs to open an infected message.

After contagion, criminals gain a free pass to access your company’s computers and all information stored on them, including confidential information. The kidnapping of information is then carried out, and the ransom demanded, usually in cryptocurrencies.

The demand for payment in cryptocurrencies is a way to make tracking criminals more difficult. Virtual currencies are not deposited in banks, nor do they require the use of personal information, which guarantees anonymity.

How to avoid being a victim of digital kidnappings?

Although digital criminals are increasingly sophisticated in their social engineering techniques, exploiting the weakest factor in information security, the human factor, it is possible to take actions to prevent your company from being a victim of ransomware.

Check out the main ones below.

1- Invest in continuous education for information security:

Most digital crimes are committed due to human failures. Opening the wrong link, trusting suspicious emails, among other types of behavior, can mean huge losses for your company.

It is essential that your business has information security protocols and that these protocols are communicated clearly and reinforced continuously.

Educating for information security is an obligation for companies in the digital world.

2- Backup your data:

Having backups of your data in locations that are not directly connected to your network is very important so that you are not forced to accept the criminals’ ransom request. After all, even if the kidnapping occurs, you will still have access to the data.

There are different tools and solutions available for backing up your business. It is important to research and see which one best meets your needs and delivers the best cost-benefit ratio.

3- Keep your systems and software updated:

If you are someone who never updates your operating systems or software, thinking that updates take too long and can harm your devices, know that by doing so you are exposing yourself to risk.

Updates are often released to fix vulnerabilities and weaknesses and thus make your computer more secure against digital criminals’ actions. The more outdated your system and software, the higher the risks of being a victim.

4- Use security software:

It is very important that your company invests in security software. Antiviruses are a layer of protection for your network, identifying, neutralizing, and eliminating computer viruses, such as ransomware.

Were you a victim of digital kidnapping? Report it!

The feeling of impunity in the digital environment, caused by difficulties in combating cybercrimes, has led many to believe that reporting these occurrences is a waste of time, leading to a scenario of underreporting.

It is important to understand, however, that there are significant advances today in combating digital crimes, both in terms of legislation and in the response capacity of security forces and investigation.

To move towards a safer internet for everyone, it is essential that victims report the crime. In this way, you will be opening up the possibility of the perpetrators being arrested, as well as contributing to feeding the database on this type of crime, thus allowing the development of strategies and solutions to combat them.

Continue following our blog to learn more about information security and follow STWBrasil on social media to stay up to date with all our news.

Until next time!

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