What is ransomware?

As its name implies, ransomware is nefarious malware that holds your data hostage, demanding payment to release it. Attacks similar to Petya variants or WannaCry are much more sophisticated versions of typical malware. They take advantage of leaked exploits, using strong encryption and a modular architecture.

illustration of protecting against ransomware

Here are three steps you can take to protect your data


Ensure all signatures are up to date on antivirus systems and network blocking technologies.


Leverage deep security analytics to correlate disparate data and detect emerging threats.


Prepare your teams with a response playbook, should you be infected. IBM Security’s global incident response expertise is available to help.

Next steps

Combating enterprise ransomware

Bad Rabbit ransomware attacks highlight risk of propagating malware outbreaks

Petya shows need for security diligence in recurring ransomware-like attacks

Experiencing a security breach?

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