Virtual Crimes Kidnap Data for Company Extortion: What to Do?

Crimes Virtuais sequestram dados para extorsão de empresas. O que fazer - STWBrasil

The increase in Virtual Crimes recorded in recent years has primarily targeted companies. Digital criminals have not spared businesses of all sectors and sizes, with small and medium enterprises often chosen due to their lower investments in digital security.

As we know, there are countless ways to commit crimes in the digital world. Today, however, ransomware attacks are among the most common against organizations. Some famous cases of this type of attack occurred against Grupo Fleury and JBS in 2021, damaging and paralyzing their operations in some locations.

Ransomware is characterized by data kidnapping. Upon invading the network, cybercriminals capture devices and encrypt the information found. Then, those responsible contact the target demanding payment of ransom to release the data, threatening to delete them if the ransom is not paid.

If your company faces this type of situation, do you know how to act? Come with us, as STWBrasil will tell you what you need to do when you suffer a hacker attack involving data kidnapping.

Virtual Crimes – What to Do If You’re a Victim of Data Kidnapping

Today, data is the heart of many companies. The information stored about finances, customers, prospects, partners, products, among many others produced and collected daily in a business, forms the basis that allows decision-making and strategy definition with a high degree of accuracy.

Thus, losing data in a ransomware attack could mean having to rebuild and restructure your business, which, although entirely possible, means higher costs in time and money.

Giving in to the hackers’ blackmail and paying the ransom, however, is not recommended at all. The truth is that there is no guarantee that the criminals will actually “return” your data and system, and what was a ransom demand can soon become a never-ending extortion.

There are records, for example, of companies that paid the data ransom, managed to access them again, and the following week were threatened by the same group demanding a new payment to avoid making the captured data public.

If paying the ransom is not an option, what to do then?

If you maintain good security practices in your company, you most likely have a data backup, which means you can recover them quickly. If this is the reality of your company, stay calm, everything will work out.

As soon as you identify the cyberattack, remember to immediately start producing evidence, which will greatly help in the investigation process. While the person responsible for information security performs the extraction of the malicious program, aiming to regain control of the network and devices, it is essential to report the crime to the authorities.

Reporting virtual attacks is crucial for us to strengthen the fight against this type of crime in the country, providing law enforcement with information that allows them to investigate and understand the real scenario of hacker actions in Brazil. Virtual crime reporting can be carried out at any police station.

After regaining control, a careful sweep is needed to identify the causes that allowed the attack.

In many cases, cybercriminals use social engineering to make a member of the organization open a corrupted email that leads to the installation of malware. However, there are records of attacks that occurred due to the leakage of private network passwords.

From identifying the weak point, it is essential to take measures that reduce the risk of your business being a new target, from educational actions about information security and good practices in the digital world for employees to changing the protection software used.

Data Backup is Essential for Protecting Your Company

Having a data backup, as soon as systems, networks, and devices are secure, just download the data again, thus ending the motivation for blackmail – but as we said, it may arise again in the form of “we will leak your data.”

If you do not have data backup as a continuous practice in your business, the situation becomes severely complicated, as the only way to recover the data depends on the action of those responsible for the kidnapping.

Although it may be tempting to pay the ransom, the most recommended is to accept the blow and work to rebuild your business.

Remember: when it comes to virtual crimes, prevention is much cheaper and less painful than corrective actions. Make digital security a habit in your business and reduce the risks of suffering from hackers’ actions.

Until next time!

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