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Ransomware. It’s a type of malware that’s designed to lock access to a computer system or to encrypt the data on the computer. Then the attacker demands a ransom to relinquish control of the system or to decrypt the data.

The cyber-criminals responsible for these attacks are often many miles away, in other countries, and they’re likely to demand non-refundable, untraceable payments in the form of bitcoins or other online currencies.

How powerful is ransomware? The so-called NotPetya ransomware attack, which crippled multiple multinational companies in 2017, caused more than $10 billion in damages, according to the White House’s Homeland Security advisor.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team now recommends that all computer users follow the “3-2-1” rule to safeguard their data. Following these simple rules allows administrators to better protect their data by increasing the chances of recovery.