The Rise of Ransomware

Malicious software, otherwise known as Malware, has been around since the early days of computing but only really came to light succeeding the rise of domestic internet use.

It’s often delivered by email and can be fairly easy to spot – especially if you’re sure you don’t have any overseas relatives who’ve left you with a multi-million inheritance! Malware tends to appear as a program installed on the user’s system with the aim of stealing personal, financial or business information. Generally, it makes the whole system either unstable or unusable.

A more modern form of Malware is Ransomware, where the virus doesn’t only infect the computer but also limits access to the files and systems. Your files become encrypted with a system so strong there is no practical way of cracking it. Often, Ransomware then requests a payment to regain access. Unfortunately, people aren’t yet fully aware of this technique and Ransomware is currently netting cyber criminals around $5,000,000 a year.


What can be done?

Unfortunately, once the virus has infected your PC it can be very difficult to remove, which is why prevention is the best cure.


  • Never open attachments in emails where you don’t know the sender
  • Always run a good Anti-Virus utility and keep Windows and browser-related components updated
  • Disable browser toolbars. Downloadable toolbars are often a common route to increased adware and malware.


Back up!

Probably one of the most clichéd phrases used in the IT industry – but the true benefit can only be seen when the inevitable happens.

Ransomware can be so advanced that it not only encrypts files on your PC but can also encrypt files on external hard drives – for instance, your USB drive which might be the E: drive on your PC.


OmniCom can offer a secure backup system that ensures your personal details are kept safe and secure at all times.


It’s also important to follow the 3-2-1 principle:


  • Three copies of back-up’s, over
  • Two mediums, with
  • One copy in a separate and secure location.


Windows might also have kept some copies of your files. Checking this is easy and can be done by right-clicking a file in Windows Explorer and looking for the item, “Restore previous versions”. Alternatively, select, “Properties” and select the tab marked “Previous Versions”.


Restoring files is much easier than starting from scratch and OmniCom’s state of the art backup system can help to ease the pressure on yourselves.


For any additional details on keeping safe online and spotting malware, see the top five tips for spotting the signs of malware.

Alternatively, please feel free to contact us on (0191) 386 6222.