Ransomware 101: A Guide To Surviving Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware 101: A Guide To Surviving Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware is a growing concern for businesses globally. As more companies rely on the internet to complete daily goals, the risk of a ransomware attack increases.

Unfortunately, ransomware can lead to significant problems for companies, such as a loss of data, operational shutdown, reputation damage, and revenue loss. Today, we will discuss what a ransomware attack is, how to prevent it, and what companies can do to recover.

What Is A Ransomware Attack?

A ransomware attack uses malware to encrypt systems and data. By doing this, the cybercriminal gains leverage as they can demand a ransom to decrypt the files. When a ransomware attack occurs, the cybercriminals hold your data and system hostage. Unfortunately, many businesses do not have data protection strategies in place, leading to serious long-term problems for businesses. 

How To Prevent Ransomware 

Preventing a ransomware attack begins with a ransomware data recovery strategy. Here are a few steps companies can take to prevent a ransomware attack in the workplace. 

  • Inventory Your Data: All companies should have a clear outline of their data. For this reason, it’s essential to take inventory of your company’s data and categorize it to determine where everything needs to be stored. You may decide to organize your data based on critical, valuable, regulated, and proprietary information. 
  • Identify Your Endpoints: The next step is to identify your endpoints, enabling you to know where a ransomware infection may come from and minimize vulnerabilities.
  • Develop a Recovery Plan: Create a recovery plan for all your assets and data. Ultimately, you want to be able to restore or rebuild all assets, generally from a backup or image.
  • Protect Your Backups: Develop a protection plan for your backups to ensure you can recover sensitive data in the event of a breach. 
  • Duplicate Data Offsite: Store at least one copy of your data offline, offsite, or both for extra protection. 

How To Recover From A Ransomware Attack 

Here are a few steps to recover from a ransomware attack. 

  1. Disconnect the Infected Computer: It’s essential to disconnect the infected computer immediately from the network. Additionally, remove any external storage devices. Be sure to unplug the Ethernet and any external hard drives as well.
  2. Check Other Computers and Servers: More than one computer may be affected due to a ransomware attack. As a result, it’s important to check other computers and servers on your network for any signs of encryption, like altered data files. If you’re unsure, it’s best to proceed with disconnecting from the network. 
  3. Avoid Paying the Ransom: Some companies may feel urged to pay the ransom in an attempt to restore their sensitive data files. However, paying the ransom is likely not the best solution. Cybercriminals are less likely to restore files once you’ve sent them the money. As a result, many companies lose sensitive data and more money. 

Learn More About Ransomware Data Recovery

Has your company been affected by a ransomware attack? Or, maybe you want to strengthen your company’s IT infrastructure to prevent a ransomware attack. If either of these is the case, it’s important to speak with an IT professional who can help you identify your company’s weak points and help you strengthen your network and systems to minimize your risk.

Ransomware attacks can be detrimental to businesses but can certainly be avoided with the proper practices. If you want to learn more about ransomware data recovery, contact us today to learn more. 

Featured Image: Andrey Popov/Shutterstock

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