Author: Jeff Weeks, Sr. Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer
October is Cyber Security Month and I’d like to share with you some information about ransomware. Ransomware is one of the threats that businesses and individuals fear most due to the potential loss of information and crippling effects on business.
Ransomware is malicious software, usually distributed through phishing. Once it is deployed on a computer or network, it encrypts the victim’s files. The criminal who deployed the ransomware then holds the key to unlock the encryption for ransom until the owner of the computer or network pays the demand or preferably removes all traces of the malware and restores their machine from backup.
If you find that your computer or network has been infected with ransomware, avoid paying the ransom unless absolutely necessary. Ransom payments go to support criminal activity, and chances are you won’t get your files back anyway, or you’ll be marked as a future target for a larger ransom. The best idea is to seek out professional help as soon as possible. Some ransomware has been defeated, and the data may be able to be recovered without paying the ransom. If you have backed up your files, restore your device to its initial state and restore your files from the backup. Cybercrime such as ransomware, can be reported to the FBI at www.ic3.gov.
About the Author
Jeff has been with First National Bank of Omaha for 21 years and is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer. The executive leadership and oversight provided by Jeff in the development, management and execution of information security for First National Bank of Omaha enables the company’s ability to posture and protect private, personal information, and assets of the company’s clients, employees and business partners.
Jeff is a member of FS-ISAC (Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center) and PPISC (Payments Processor Information Sharing Council), MBCA Advisory Board (Mid-Size Bank Coalition of America), FishTech Advisory Board, Bellevue University Advisory Board, Minneapolis CISO Advisory Board, and he was recently appointed as an FNBO Board member. Over the course of his career, he has been awarded several professional certifications including Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP).
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.