How to Deal with a Ransomware Attack

by Robert Best on August 23, 2017
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deal with a ransomware attack

Ransomware is a major problem and now it’s becoming a business killer. The Second Annual State of Ransomware Report recently found that 22 percent of small businesses that were hit with ransomware attacks were crippled to the point they had to cease operations immediately.

Whilst there are steps you can take to protect your business from ransomware, the chances of being a victim of a successful attack is high. Very high. 71% of companies targeted by ransomware attacks have been infected.

What does a ransomware attack look like?

Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and have built many ways to infect your computer. Your staff must be vigilant. Infection can be caused by clicking on links on a compromised website.

The most common infection method are phishing emails. They are made to look like genuine emails but clicking a link will infect your computer.

Learn how ransomware is spread, the different types of ransomware, and what you can do to avoid or recover from an attack.

The newest forms of ransomware can quickly spread across a network, infecting a whole business. Once infected your computer will display a message and details of the ransom. All your files will be encrypted and you won’t be able to access any of your data.

What to do if you’re a victim of an attack

Once your computer or network has become infected your next step depends on how prepared you are. You are faced with 3 choices.

  1. Pay the ransom
  2. Restore from a backup
  3. Cut your losses and bin the computers

Many experts stress the importance of never paying the ransom. You will encourage future attacks and there is no guarantee you’ll get your data back by paying. These are criminals you’re dealing with.

We don’t know too many businesses that can just afford to forget about their data and buy new computers.

Back up is your friend

"Robust backups are a key component of an anti-ransomware strategy," says Philip Casesa, Product Development Strategist at ISC2, a global not-for-profit organisation that certifies security professionals. "Once your files are encrypted, your only viable option is to restore the backup."

Backups are very important in helping a business survive a cyber attack but that is only a small part of what a business will need to do.

Get help preparing for ransomware

With a robust back up process recovering from an attack can be just as simple as ‘rewinding’ to 15 minutes before the attack.

It’s difficult for a business, especially the commonly targeted smaller business, to implement a full back up strategy. You will then have to remove all the malware from your computers and network. Then you can recover your data.

There are IT companies that can set up a full back up strategy. They can remove any infections from your machines and restore all your backed up data.

Remember that 22% of business infected go under. 3rd party help is very cost effective. You can talk to us today to discuss your ransomware security concerns.

Ransomware is scary and it can ruin a business with just the click of a link. It’s important not to panic about ransomware and to prepare for it probably. Get professional support to make sure your business can survive a ransomware attack.

Let us know your ransomware concerns in the comments below.

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Topics: IT Security

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