Over the past few years, ransomware attacks have grown in complexity. What started as single-hacker assaults turned into a business. Today, hackers set up virtual offices with help desks, toll-free numbers, and much more. What can an organization do to protect itself?
Proper preparations, coupled with quick reactions, can help you avoid an attack or, at least, minimize serious consequences. This short guide can give you a general idea of how to proceed.
Take Preventive Measures
According to the 2019 Global State of Channel Ransomware Report, statistics let us know that the average ransomware incident costs "$141,000 and the cost of downtime is now 23-times greater than the average ransom request of $5,900." The majority of these costly incidents can be prevented.
- Employee education – since 67% of ransomware is delivered by mail; the key prevention tactic is to avoid clicking suspicious links. You have to train employees to recognize malicious emails and contact the IT department as soon as they notice any of such messages appearing in their inboxes.
- Timely updates – all software must be updated timely to ensure all system patches are in place. Meanwhile, security programs and antiviruses should be appropriately maintained.
- Regular monitoring – ransomware does not act subtly. By watching out for the application program interface calls needed for file access and encryption, it is possible to detect the malicious software early. Implementing protocols to deal with a ransomware attack could save companies millions of dollars.
- Smart backup – ransomware aims at encrypting sensitive data. If you do not have copies of this information, the cost of ransom may be less than the value of your data, thus forcing you to consider paying. Backing up your files consistently can help avoid such a temptation. Start by having a robust disaster recovery plan in place.
Isolate the Infection
As soon as you realize that you are under a ransomware attack, the first step is to isolate your computer. Disconnect it from any networks and shared storage. Sever the internet connection.
By doing that, you are minimizing the chances of the infection spreading to other computers. All infected units must be isolated from each other.
Identify the Infection
By taking advantage of professional assistance, you can figure out which strain of malware you have.
Aside knowing which problem you have encountered dictates the next steps, your IT specialists will take.
Report to Authorities
It is important to report the ransomware attack to cyber law enforcement authorities. You can also report the problem to the local police or FBI.
Here is where you can start:
A few minutes of your time can help prevent similar ransomware attacks in the future.
Determine Your Options
A ransomware expert can help you determine your options for dealing with the problem. It could include using anti-ransomware programs, recovering data, or sometimes merely deleting a couple of files.
The only thing you should never do is pay the ransom. Malicious files will stay in your computer and target your data in new ways.
Restore and Refresh
By using backed up data, you can bring your computer back to the way it functioned before the attack.
If you have all the files backed up properly, you can wipe your computer clean and reinstall the necessary software.
Strengthen Preventive Measures
Even though a disaster recovery plan can help you avoid severe consequences of a ransomware attack, such an assault can still have an unpleasant impact on your business.
If you would like to avoid downtime altogether, strengthen preventive measures, and increase employee awareness contact Total Computer Solutions. For more information, please download our e-book- Everything You Need to Know About Network Security or contact us today.