Ransomware is a type of computer virus that kidnaps your data and holds it hostage for money. It has become increasingly common, attacking governments and all manner of business as well as non-for profit institutions. If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a ransomware attack, there are basically only three options open to you.
What to Do After a Ransomware Attack
Why is ransomware so nasty? Because it steals the most important thing your business possesses. Data. Worse, once infected, there isn’t generally a way out. No one can “disinfect” your machine. You aren’t going to be able to call in IT support to solve the problem. Basically, you have three options.
Do What the Hackers Ask
Pay the ransom. This payment is usually via credit card or bitcoin (a digital currency). Some ransomware viruses even provide helplines if you’re having trouble. Of course, there are no guarantees you will get access to your data – these are thieves you’re dealing with. Plus, you’re going to only ensure more ransomware attacks will happen.
Refuse to Pay to Get Your Data Back
Don’t pay and lose your data – This has its obvious downsides, unless…
Being Prepared with a Backup
You have a safe, clean backup. In that case, you are stuck with the nuisance of restoring your data with the backup, but you aren’t out any money. However, this comes with a caveat: your backups have to be clean. The problem with ransomware viruses is that just making backups may not be sufficient to protect your data, as the backups can be infected also.
Ransomware Requires Prevention and Backups
As you can see, the first two options aren’t very favorable solutions. The only real defense against an attack is the third option. You have to be prepared ahead of time with a safe, segregated backup. Be sure to get the advice of a specialist on how to protect your data from this very serious threat to your business. In addition, you can bolster your cybersecurity through:
- Managed IT: Our clients with our managed IT have never suffered a ransomware breach. Better cybersecurity with network protection like firewalls keeps them safe.
- Avoid Phishing: Many ransomware attacks start with phishing. Make it harder for your company to be targeted by avoiding publishing individuals’ contact information and with better email procedures.
- Stay Updated: Many hackers work through security vulnerabilities that are patched, but that doesn’t help you unless you update your systems. Always run updates or get them managed.