We will be closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. As always, the emergency support line will be open.

What is a Ransomware Attack?

April 1st, 2024 by William Wentowski

A person displaying distress over a security message on their work computer screen

Picture this: Your computer suddenly locks you out, and a sinister message pops up demanding a hefty ransom for the return of your precious data. Sounds like a plot twist in a tech thriller, right? Well, welcome to the wild world of ransomware attacks. In this not-so-friendly game of cat and mouse, where hackers are the cats and we are the unsuspecting mice, ransomware has become the ultimate digital villain.

The year 2023 saw an escalation in different types of cyberattacks. Companies worldwide experienced an average of around 1158 cyberattacks per week. This represented a 1% increase in cyberattacks from 2022. An alarming finding was that these numbers kept increasing yearly, signaling a worrying and continuous trend of online threats in the digital landscape.

In the same year, cyberattacks evolved, particularly ransomware threats. While they posed a risk to less fortified and smaller businesses, a change occurred with a stream of attacks focusing on extortion-based campaigns and data theft. The tactics used in these attacks were prominent in two campaigns: GoAnywhere and MOVEit. These software programs helped facilitate file management and transfers.

These attacks revolved around extortion. The attackers demanded payment for sensitive data, or else they would release everything publicly.

Now that you know how rampant ransomware attacks are running, you need to protect your business to ensure your clients' trust remains unbroken. The following information will tell you everything there is to know about this cyberattack:

Understanding a Ransomware Attack

A ransomware attack is a malicious cyber activity where a person or company's computer systems are infiltrated, and the data stored on those systems is encrypted or otherwise made inaccessible by the attacker. The perpetrator then demands a ransom, usually in cryptocurrency, for the decryption key to restore access to the compromised data.

The attackers often exploit vulnerabilities in software, social engineering tactics, or other means to gain unauthorized access to a victim's computer network.

How a Ransomware Attack Unfolds


The ransomware is delivered to the victim's system through various means, such as infected websites, malicious email attachments, or exploiting software vulnerabilities. Once the victim clicks the link, the ransomware spreads and encrypts files.


Data becomes inaccessible without the decryption key. This can include documents, images, databases, and other critical data.

Ransom Demand

The attackers present a ransom demand to the victim. This demand often includes instructions on how to pay the ransom, the amount required, and a deadline for payment.


The attackers usually demand cryptocurrency in payment, such as Bitcoin, to make tracing more challenging. Payment does not guarantee data restoration. It's possible that the attackers might hold on to the decryption key until another demand is fulfilled.

Ransomware attacks can have severe consequences, ranging from financial losses and reputational damage to operational disruptions and, in the case of private infrastructure or healthcare systems, potential threats to public safety.

Cybersecurity Measures for Protection from Ransomware Attacks

Regular Data Backups

Back up all your data regularly and store it in a secure and isolated environment disconnected from the primary network. Test the backup restoration process to ensure its effectiveness.

Network Segmentation

Divide your network into segments to limit the impact of a potential ransomware attack. By segmenting your network, you can restrict lateral movement, preventing the rapid spread of malware throughout the entire infrastructure.

Endpoint Protection

Install and maintain reputable endpoint protection solutions, such as antivirus and anti-malware software, on all devices within your network. Ensure that these solutions are regularly updated to defend against the latest threats.

Email Security

Install advanced threat protection features and spam filters. Train employees to recognize phishing attempts and suspicious emails and encourage reporting of any such incidents.

Software Updates and Patch Management

Cybercriminals often exploit outdated software to gain unauthorized access. So, regularly update operating systems, software, and applications to patch vulnerabilities.

Access Controls

Implement the principle of least privilege (PoLP) to restrict user access rights to the minimum necessary for their roles. Review and update user permissions to ensure employees only have access to the resources required for their job responsibilities.

Incident Response Plan

Develop an incident response plan to outline the steps to be taken in the event of a ransomware attack. This plan should include communication protocols, contact information for relevant parties, and procedures for isolating affected systems.

Secure Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

If remote desktop access is necessary, ensure that it is secured by using strong authentication methods, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA). Limit the number of users with remote access privileges and monitor remote connections closely.

It's important to educate employees about cybersecurity best practices and the potential risks associated with phishing emails and malicious attachments. Conduct regular training sessions to keep staff informed about the evolving tactics used by cybercriminals.

BTS Technologies is on a mission to empower businesses with cutting-edge ransomware protection solutions, ensuring your valuable data remains impervious to the clutches of cybercriminals. Don't let your business become a statistic. It's time to act now! Contact us here or Dial (205) 290-8400 to discuss your cyber protection strategy.

Posted in: Cyber Security

View of downtown Birmingham, Alabama from Vulcan Park

Call Us or Fill Out the Form Below
(205) 290-8400