What’s a ransomware attack? Tips for business owners – Press Enterprise

By Glen W. Price and Leeann Habte | Contributing columnists

The recent high-profile ransomware attacks on the Colonial pipeline and JBS meat processing plants have heightened awareness of the threat of ransomware. For the thousands of businesses and public agencies that are hit with a ransomware attack each year, the threat is all too common and increasingly a cost of doing business.

The vast majority of ransomware attacks are simply the latest version of an old criminal enterprise: the protection racket. This is when a criminal organization targets you and, for a relatively small payment (average payout last year was $178,000), let you stay in business. The new twist is that, for the racket to work, they need to hit you first, taking over your network and your data and making you pay to get it back, which significantly increases the risk and the potential damage to your business operations.

How an attack impacts a business

A ransomware attack can…

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