Enrol in our Security Awareness Course through Brightspace now to learn more about how to stay cyber secure!

As Cyber Security Awareness Month continues, it’s a great opportunity to brush up on your understanding of how to stay safe from ransomware and other types of malware.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware and cybercrime that holds data for ransom. Access to data on computer networks, mobile devices, and servers is locked until the victim pays a ransom.

According to Sophos’ State of Ransomware in Education, 2020 was a tough year for education, with the sector experiencing the highest level of ransomware attacks of all industries, only tied with retail. And according to the Marsh Canada Higher Ed Cyber Snapshot from May 2021, one in every 3,000 emails passing through filters contains malware, with phishing being the top ransomware vector.

Common targets of ransomware include companies, individuals, organizations such as educational institutions like Carleton, governments and hospitals. The two main types of ransomware are crypto ransomware and locker ransomware.

Ransomware can take on multiple forms. One of the most common methods of ransomware attack is with a phishing scam. A carefully worded email is sent urging the recipient to open an attachment or download a file. This action installs vector ransomware that takes over the computer and can infiltrate the entire computer network, locking everyone on the network out of their computers.

The goal of ransomware is to convince the victim to pay a ransom to unlock their data. Typically, the criminals behind ransomware demand the payment in Bitcoin – cryptocurrency that cannot be traced. Once the payment is secured, the victim receives an unlock code or decryption file that releases the data on the computer network, mobile device or servers.

Ransomware is a type of social engineering that criminals use to infect computers, infiltrate networks and steal data.

Learn to stay safe from ransomware!

Members of the Carleton Community are encouraged to enrol for our Security Awareness Course through Brightspace to learn more about how to stay cyber secure. After clicking the link above, you’ll need to log in with your MyCarletonOne (MC1) password before enrolling.

The course is divided into a series of modules that are short, digestible and, most importantly, informative. Topics include:

  • Phishing
  • Ransomware
  • Wi-Fi Security
  • Social Engineering
  • Risky USB devices
  • And much more!

Register now!

Cyber security doesn’t end after October, so watch the ITS web site and @Carleton_IT on Twitter for information about new campaigns, tips and tricks as they become available.

If you have any questions, please contact ITS Security.

Thank you in advance for your participation!

A graphic with the words Cyber Security Awareness Month 2021, a mouse pointer arrow and a lock