Complete I.T. Blog

The Many Faces of Ransomware

by | Dec 8, 2017 | Archived Articles

Over recent years, being infected by a virus has gone from a slight inconvenience to a business to being able to take down multi-million-pound companies in a matter of seconds. To give an indication of the severity of the situation at hand, Ransomware netted over $325 million in 2015 alone and made $200 million in the first half of 2016.

With Ransomware currently being the most financially beneficial cyber threat there is, it’s important to know what you’re up against.

This blog will take you through the three main forms of Ransomware that your business is vulnerable to, and how to best protect your business in the event of an attack.

Screen Lockers

If you’ve been hit with the form of Ransomware known as Screen Locker, you’ll turn on your computer and be faced with a display image with a message stating that your workstation has been locked, and to unlock your computer and continue with your day you’ll have to cough up a pretty penny for them to unlock it.

Unlike the Scareware virus, the Screen Locker has a lot more bite to its attack and can lead to a significant amount of business downtime. But all hope isn’t lost! This Ransomware can normally be taken care of using a system restore.


This is the most harmless form of Ransomware that you may come across and can only do exactly what the name suggests – scare.

Scareware normally comes in the form of pop-ups and threatening emails and will suggest that your systems are being infected at that very moment, they will tell you ‘the only way to stop it from spreading is to pay a small fee’.  Do not pay the fee! Do a scan of your systems to make sure that there isn’t any infection or speak with your IT Support provider – this is almost always a scare tactic and your systems will be fine.

Crypto Lockers

Unlike the rest of the Ransomware family, Crypto Lockers mean business and they certainly don’t like to be ignored. They will normally hide within an email attachment that looks like it’s from a friend or colleague. Once you’ve clicked on the attachment the Crypto Virus will flood through your systems, encrypting every single one of your files one at a time.

Once you’re infected and they know, the balls in their court, they’ll start demanding large sums of money using the threat of deleting your data to make sure you succumb to their demands.

How can a business protect against this?

Complete I.T. swear by a multi-layered approach to your IT security, ensuring the most protection possible against attacks such as these.

By having a reliable and consistent back up in place that is checked on a regular basis, you can have confidence that in the unfortunate event that your business is targeted, your data is secured.

You also need a strong defensive approach to your cyber security, having strong anti-virus in place that is constantly updated is essential, as is educating your team on what to look out for with scam emails. Read Complete I.T.’s educational blog on spotting scam emails for more information.

If you want to discuss your cyber security in more detail, contact us to speak with one of our industry experts.