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Protect Your Rental Operation From Cyber Criminals

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Protect Your Rental Operation From Cyber Criminals


Data is the lifeblood of your business - and it's of paramount importance that your data is protected.

As reported recently in the news, there has been a surge in 'ransomware' attacks affecting computers all over the world. Such attacks block access to your computers (and any data stored on them) until a sum of money has been paid to the cyber criminals. Below, we look at some ways in which you can best protect your business from such threats.


First of all - what is ransomeware?

ransomware

ˈrans(ə)mwɛː/

noun

noun: ransomware; noun: ransom-ware

  1. a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

"although ransomware is usually aimed at individuals, it's only a matter of time before business is targeted as well"

 

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You may wonder why cyber criminals target the vehicle rental industry…

  • It seems obvious but that’s where the money is
  • Cyber attacks cause major business disruptions, which will increase their chances of getting paid;
  • Small businesses tend to be prone to vulnerabilities that can be exploited through technical means;
  • The human factor can also be exploited, possibly through social engineering tactics;
  • Small businesses are often unprepared to deal with advanced cyber-attacks (which ransomware is)

 

What to look out for

You may receive an innocuous and a seemingly genuine looking email. It may have an invoice attached.

They are relying on your trusting and unsuspecting nature.

If you are at all unsure – delete the email or call the telephone number to confirm your suspicions.

DO NOT OPEN THE EMAIL

DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT

DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK

 Opening the email executes the programme and starts locking all your files stored on your computers.

Ransomware affects not only computers, but also servers and cloud-based file-sharing systems.


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What happens next?*

  • Ransomeware features unbreakable encryption, which means that you can’t decrypt the files on your own (there are various decryption tools released by cyber security researchers – more on that later);
  • It can encrypt all kinds of files, from documents to pictures, videos, audio files and other things you may have on your PC;
  • It can scramble your file names, so you can’t know which data was affected. This is one of the social engineering tricks used to confuse and coerce victims into paying the ransom;
  • It will add a different extension to your files, to sometimes signal a specific type of ransomware strain;
  • It will display an image or a message that lets you know your data has been encrypted and that you must pay a specific sum of money to get it back;
  • It uses a complex set of evasion techniques to go undetected by traditional antivirus (more on this in the “Why ransomware often goes undetected by antivirus” section);
  • It often recruits the infected PCs into botnets, so cyber criminals can expand their infrastructure and fuel future attacks;
  • It can spread to other PCs connected in a local network, creating further damage;
  • It frequently features data exfiltration capabilities, which means that ransomware can extract data from the affected computer (usernames, passwords, email addresses, etc.) and send it to a server controlled by cyber criminals;
  • It sometimes includes geographical targeting, meaning the ransom note is translated into the victim’s language, to increase the chances for the ransom to be paid.

 

Not a nice situation to find yourself in.

You are literally held to ransom.
 

“Usually, the ransom payments have a time-limit, to add another level of psychological constraint to this extortion scheme. Going over the deadline typically means that the ransom will increase, but it can also mean that the data will be destroyed and lost forever”
 

How to avoid becoming a victim of ransomeware

  1. Keep your operating system up to date
  2. Train staff to improve their online behaviour
  3. Don’t open suspicious emails
  4. Don’t download attachments from suspicious emails
  5. Don’t click on links in suspicious emails
  6. Make sure your hardware is up to date.
  7. Don’t store all your important data on 1 PC

If you don’t subscribe to our Data Hosting service please make sure you back-up your Prohire data regularly and make sure the back up works.

Please be aware that if you are a “self-hosted” customer that we do not hold a copy or record of your Prohire system.

To find our more about Prohire Hosting - please click here.

There are lots of websites you can visit with helpful advice and information.

Or, you can call the support team on 01795 434000