The Hashed Out blog written by SSL Store has an excellent primer on Ransomware and how it works. In short, it’s software that infiltrates your computer and then encrypts your data so you cannot access it until a ransom is paid. But how does it accomplish that?
The software is often constructed by cybercriminals who specialize in creating it, then sold to those who wish to adapt it for a specific purpose. They will then use any method to infiltrate an organization or machine, often exploiting human error or outdated unpatched networks, then once inside, it will proceed to encrypt any data it can get its hands on with a method that only the perpetrator can release.
Ransomware as a concept has been around for decades, practically as long as the internet, but the shadow it can cast over an organization is very long and with systems become more complex, the possible sources of infiltration have only grown in recent years. Cybersecurity experts recommend that all IT departments review their systems for possible points of access and ensure all networks and software is appropriately patched and up to date.