Businesses have been dealing with the threat of cyber attacks for decades now. There are tons of cyber threats being made to businesses on a daily basis, which makes it critical for you to know how to protect yourself against them.

The two main types of cyber attacks that businesses have had to deal with include extortionware and ransomware. Below, you can learn more about what they are the differences between these attacks and how to keep your business connected yet protected. 

Differences between Ransomware & Extortionware

What Is Extortionware?


Extortionware involves someone hacking into the private information within your business and making threats of releasing it. It usually works with sensitive details being taken and a demand being made.

For the most part, this demand involves money. If businesses don’t pay up, the hackers release the information. 

Even hospitals have been the victim of extortionware attacks. A recent case involved a hospital in Australia being denied access to bookings, systems, and patient records.

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is similar to extortionware, but with some key differences. They steal sensitive information from businesses and delete the original files. 


They then make a demand from the company with threats that they’ll delete the only version of the files that are left. Again, these demands usually involve money. 


Businesses who don’t pay suffer the consequences of having the important information being deleted without any way of retrieving it. 

Ransomware often happens in the form of a virus that’s uploaded to computers in your business. This allows them to, not only find private files, but to lock computers down and stop people accessing certain files and apps. 

The FBI has put out a statement warning businesses that ransomware attacks are becoming more common. Hackers are discovering more ways of infiltrating sensitive information and the attacks have increased.

How to Prevent Attacks

Many businesses have incredibly important information that they need to keep private to continue running successfully. Therefore, you’ll want to prevent people from making their way into your systems easily. 

Since the attacks seem to be getting more sophisticated and frequent, many businesses have been paying special attention to their security systems. 


Check out some ways you can make your business more secure below. 

Patching Systems

Some businesses make the mistake of waiting too long to make a patch after a security issue has been found. If you’ve been alerted of a weak spot in your security, you’ll want to get it fixed as quickly as possible. 

Within this window of time, hackers are provided with easier access to your company’s information. 

This can be prevented by ensuring that your IT teams are vigilante and can work fast. It’s also best for security tests to be ran very regularly. 


When you encrypt your files, it’s a lot more difficult for hackers to access them. Therefore, using encryption on sensitive files is a must. 

Backup Data

If you’ve taken the steps above and a hacker still manages to make their way into your company’s systems, you’ll want to have a plan B. 


Backing up your data is one of the simpler and effective ways of protecting your business from cyber threats. If hackers get your information and start making demands that they’ll delete the data, you can feel more assured in knowing that you have backups.

Having said that, your backups may not help you when it comes to extortionware as it doesn’t prevent hackers from leaking the information.


Now that you know more about the key differences between extortionware and ransomware, you can be sure to put the proper security features in place to prevent them from being problems in your business. 

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