What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypt or block the victim’s data until a ransom is paid. Ransomware became the biggest cyber-attack world is facing now. The targets include Individuals, small and large enterprises, and Governments. Ransomware attacks have grown more common now. The cost of the damage is enormous. It cost months of recovery and millions for both business and for individuals.
There is no single solution available that completely protect your data from Ransomware attacks. However, there are different ways in which you can protect your Data from those attacks.
Ransomware attacks can happen in many ways.
- Opening Malicious link in an Email, SMS or any social media platforms.
- Malicious Advertising
- Suspicious, Fake or Infected Website
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Everyone is at risk of a Ransomware attack. The attack methods get more sophisticated over time. Paying the ransom does not guarantee you the data back. Instead, by following some preventive and protective measures in your day-to-day life could protect your data from these threats. Below are some of the ways where you can prevent the cyber-attacks.
1. Maintain Backups
Data backup is an effective way to prevent your data from ransomware attack. Always make a copy of your data and save it in multiple locations. Cloud backup is a smart choice for offsite backup. Individuals and organisation should do this on a regular basis. This is one of the best method to prevent data loss on account of a ransomware attack.
2. Raise Cyber security Awareness among Employees.
Employees in the organisation are everything yet they are vulnerable and are the biggest risk. Providing security awareness training to employees that clearly explains the roles they have in preventing ransomware attacks is a good practice. Educate them in the areas such as how to identify a phishing attack, identifying a suspicious link or file, creating strong passwords, keep system and software up to date, escalating things when a suspicious activity is noticed etc. This type of awareness should be done on regular basis.
3. Keep your Systems up-to-date.
Always make sure that the firmware, operating system, third party software are updated with the latest patch. System without new updates is vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Therefore by applying new software updates the chances of ransomware attack can be turned down.
4. Strengthen Endpoint Security.
Another best way to stay safe from ransomware attacks is to build a strong endpoint security solution. Advanced endpoint security system protects these endpoints from cyber-attacks by tracking, monitoring, and blocking the risky and malware activities. Endpoints are end user devices such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones, servers which is physically an endpoint on a network.
5. Practice Good Email security and web filtering.
Emails are the common medium of delivering ransomware into the system. Hence It is good to have a best email security in place. Secure email gateway filters most of the threats and block them from reaching the users. This practice stop ransomware from attacking into users’ system via email.
Web Filtering does not allow users to visit malicious websites and download malicious files. This blocks the spread of ransomware to user system from the internet.
6. Be Proactive and Prepared
Finally, We should be proactive in implementing the above said methods in our daily business. Being proactive is the best way to stop ransomware attacks. Be prepared to deal these attacks. Ensure there is a plan in place in case of any ransomware attacks.
Once you identified that your DATA is Compromised, Do the below things ASAP.
- Isolate the Attacked system – Isolate the infected system from the network completely.
- Escalate to Higher levels – Immediately escalate the issue to your higher level authorities.
- Remove the Malware – Remove the malware from the system to avoid the further spreading.
- Data Recovery – Once the above steps are completed start recovering the data. This is only possible if you have the data backup available. Paying Ransom is not a good option according to cyber security researchers. There is no guarantee in getting back your data or key even after the payment.
Stay Alert at every moment when you are using a laptop, desktop, mobile phone, tablet etc especially when using a network connection. Ensure the link or website you are going to click, or download is safe. Do not let ransomware damage your personal or business work or your organisation.