With pipelines, hospitals, banks, corporations, small businesses, and even computer users at home being hit by ransomware threats, it’s a good idea to take preventative steps. The right measures can protect your data, computer, and finances. They can also save you from the mental distress of dealing with a ransomware attack.
What is ransomware?
There are many kinds of malware, from viruses to adware. Ransomware is a type of malware that helps criminals commit financial crimes on the Internet. An attacker can use ransomware to encrypt a target’s data and demand a ransom in exchange for decrypting the files. A hacker may also use ransomware to delete or corrupt data if the target refuses to comply.
Beware of social engineering attacks
The best way to avoid ransomware threats is to learn about social engineering attacks like phishing expeditions. Such attack vectors deceive users into downloading ransomware. For example, the highly dangerous Ryuk ransomware family works through a delivery method called malspam, where emails carrying the infection are often sent from spoofed addresses.
The basic rule of thumb is this: don’t open an email, click a link, visit a website, or read a social media message if it looks suspicious. Verify anything dubious by directly contacting the source. For example, if an email from a bank seems questionable, call them to check its authenticity.
You should also steer clear of software that looks too good to be true. Hackers like to deliver malware through Trojan horse attacks by hiding malicious files in legitimate-looking programs for the computer.
Use advanced antivirus software
Emerging threats like ransomware are challenging to block with typical antivirus software because they often don’t have known signatures. Good anti-malware software that uses threat detection and behavior analysis can counter both established and unknown malware.
As a business, you need a comprehensive system to shield every computer and device. A sophisticated endpoint detection and response anti-malware system could secure all devices in your network. It may also remediate changes made by malware.
Additionally, firewalls and a corporate Virtual Private Network (VPN) can secure your network. At the very least, use email filters and antivirus tools to block and remediate ransomware attacks via email.
How do I stop a ransomware attack?
You may suffer from a ransomware attack despite your best efforts. After all, cybercriminals are using more sophisticated method. That’s why it’s critical to create backups of your data regularly. You can use free cloud services as an individual or invest in better backup technology if you run a business.
The moment you suspect a ransomware attack, you should deactivate the Internet to stop the threat actor from controlling the malware. Next, isolate the infected device from other computers in the system by deactivating your WiFi connection and disconnecting networking cables.
Use ransomware remediation tools to clean the infection. You may need help from a cybersecurity expert if the problem is severe. Of course, you should also contact law enforcement for assistance.
Most cybersecurity professionals suggest that you avoid paying a threat actor because there’s usually no guarantee that they’ll decrypt your files. Some hackers take the money and disappear without a trace, while others remove one layer of encryption and ask for another payment to remove another. However, many companies pay the ransom to regain access to critical data and then take steps to stop enhance network defences.