There are two simple preventive measures that a public or private enterprise must put into place to stop cybercriminals says Europol; practice pristine digital hygiene and keep anti-virus protection up-to-date.

The number of users attacked by crypto-ransomware rose by 5.5 times, from 131 000 in 2014-2015 to 718 000 in 2015-2016 according to Kaspersky Lab and nearly two-thirds of EU Member States are conducting investigations into this form of malware attack.

“The increase has been evident over the past three to five years,” a Europol spokesperson told  “There are two things you can do immediately to protect your organisation from cyberhacking. Firstly, exercise digital hygiene amongst staff. This means staff need to be educated to not open emails from unknown sources for example. The second is to keep your anti-virus up to date. It’s amazing how organisations fail to implement these two basic measures and how much disruption these this can cause.”

Europol said, contrary to some media reports, they are not aware of widespread cases of personnel actually cooperating with cybercriminals which may come as a relief to some healthcare faciltities.

See Also: Recover Data with No More Ransom Initiative was speaking to Europol after its July launch of No More Ransom, a website initiative by Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security. The goal is to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals. The initiative is open to other public and private parties.

The site provides a guide to what ransomware is, how it works and, most importantly, how to ensure protection of data. The project provides users with tools that may help them recover their data once it has been locked by criminals. In its initial stage, the portal has four decryption tools for different types of malware, the latest developed in June 2016.

“Cybercrime has changed a lot in the last few years. Hackers are becoming more professional and aggressive,” said Europol.



No More Ransom 

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