The risk is real: Expect ransomware

There has been a significant increase in successful ransomware attacks after Colonial Pipeline paid $4.4M USD and the meat producer JBS paid $11M USD. Following these events, there are reports that the U.S. now suffers seven ransomware attacks an hour. As members of a large institution, it is important for the University of Toronto (U of T) community to understand the risk of ransomware attacks and how to protect ourselves.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware events lock users and organizations out of data and infrastructure and the attackers demand a payment to return access and not expose affected data. These events can have significant impact – in the worst cases, shutting down operations entirely and risking loss of critical information.

How can you protect yourself, your data and your devices?

Here are three key steps and additional reading to keep you informed and protected:

1. Backup information

2. Patch systems for security vulnerabilities

3. Secure login credentials

Bonus tip: Remember to protect your personal data through blocking known malicious sites, identifying and reporting phishing attempts and effectively managing your personal devices.

A detailed description and in-depth guidance for Information Technology staff and units can be found on the Information Security website.

For more information on cyber security best practices, visit the Remote Security Matters web page.