Funke news group hit by ransomware: How can media protect themselves from cyberattacks?

Jan 15, 2021

Train your staff on how to see through and recognize phishing scams and other forms of social engineering.

Funke Mediengruppe, one of the largest newspaper and magazine publisher in Germany, suffered a cyberattack over Christmas, reports DW. It is said, that the company’s IT infrastructure of around 6,000 computers is hit by ransomware, which is still ongoing, locking employees out of editorial systems, encrypting important data, and preventing newspapers from getting published. It hasn’t been confirmed yet, but there’re speculations that the media giant is asked to pay a ransom in Bitcoin to regain access to its systems.

“Ransomware is no longer a sophisticated type of a cyberattack,” explains Oliver Noble, a cybersecurity expert at NordLocker, an end-to-end encryption solution. “All it takes is a single employee to download a malicious file on a computer connected to a company’s network. Usually, hackers attack people via email disguising themselves as trustworthy senders. Once the malware is installed, it can compromise the whole network shutting down the systems and encrypting vital information.”

Although there are no ways to absolutely protect your business from ransomware, the market is full of solutions that can minimize the consequences of the attack. Oliver Noble suggests five steps on how media businesses can avoid or mitigate the risks of cybercrime against them.

1. Make sure your media organization uses an up-to-date antivirus and a robust firewall on every device or network it owns. The duo makes it harder for viruses to infiltrate your system. A reliable antivirus system also helps prevent your employees from accidentally downloading malware.

2. Regularly update your software and operating system. Updates usually include critical fixes that repair security flaws and vulnerabilities that hackers might have already exploited to target others. “Having the latest software version means you are using the most secure version, too,” Noble said.

3. Train your staff on how to see through and recognize phishing scams and other forms of social engineering. Don’t let hackers or scammers bypass your security systems just because an employee was tricked by a phishing email, clicked on a suspicious link, or downloaded an unsafe attachment with hidden malware.

4. To reduce the damage of any potential ransomware attacks, maintain periodic secure data backups. Although cloud services come with their own privacy concerns, a periodically updated and secured backup will guarantee access to your files in the event of hackers locking you out of your information.

5. Start encrypting the information your media company handles. According to the expert, the best way to keep your valuable data safe is to encrypt it and back it up in the cloud so hackers wouldn’t be able to prevent you from accessing it or threaten you with wiping it. Moreover, encryption helps protect confidential data from prying eyes when sharing it with clients or among members of staff. NordLocker, a user-friendly file encryption solution, also offers a private encrypted cloud for easy access and secure data storage.

NordLocker is the world’s first end-to-end file encryption tool with a private cloud. It was created by the cybersecurity experts behind NordVPN – one of the most advanced VPN service providers in the world. NordLocker is available for Windows and macOS, it supports all file types, offers a fast and intuitive interface, and guarantees secure sync between devices. With NordLocker, files are protected from hacking, surveillance, and data collection. For more information: