Last month, a major electricity supplier in South Africa’s largest city was hit by a ransomware attack, leaving some residents without power.

The attack on the company, City Power, largely compromised its “databases, applications and networks.” Because of the attack, residents of Johannesburg were initially unable to buy pre-paid electricity and were “left without power.” Worse still, it also hindered the firm from responding to localized blackouts. As a result, over a quarter of a million people have been affected.

Horrible ransomware

We all know that, as a type of malware, ransomware disrupts computers and encrypts or locks files and systems. The cybercriminals behind the attack will demand a large sum of bitcoins to decrypt those files or return the systems back to normal.

“We shall not pay”

Companies, government agencies and any other organization are all potential targets of ransomware campaigns. Against ransomware, law enforcement and security experts advise those affected not to pay the ransom, because it is only a temporary solution that does not prevent future attacks. In addition, paying ransom does not guarantee the cybercriminals would fulfill their promise.

“We are ready to defend”

Although ransomware attacks have decreased in volume, they have sharpened in effectiveness. Facing the situation, we should take adequate security measures to defend against the attacks or at least alleviate their effects. Besides regularly updating and patching software, programs, and applications, individuals and organizations should also follow the below practices:

  1. Be wary of suspicious emails, URLs, or attachments since malicious actors still use them to deliver malware.
  2. Regularly back up important files to ensure that data and information will remain available in case a ransomware has infected the system.

You can also take advantage of solutions security experts provide to better safeguard your data. Mr. Post and Mr. Guard are both good options. Mr. Post can see through the surface and decide whether an email is trusted by checking its IP address, which can prevent you from clicking links or opening attachments that may lead to malware downloading. Mr. Guard, a useful backup tool, ensures every single one of your email remains as they were – when your mailbox is unfortunately under attack and scrambled.

Try Mr. Post and Mr. Guard. Available on Microsoft AppSource. For free.