How to Survive a Ransomware Attack

Credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels

You’ve probably heard of ransomware attacks if you watch the news. These cybersecurity attacks lock computers and hold them hostage until the victim sends a fee to a ransomware gang, typically through cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. You’ll be excused for thinking that ransomwareattacks only target governments and large organizations because that’s what makes the news.

The truth is that while ransomware gangs go after big targets, they can encrypt just about any computer. Small businesses and individuals are most vulnerable to these attacks because they may not recover data even after payment as hackers often disappear. Fortunately, some steps can help you stop or survive ransomware attacks.

#1 Use Anti-Ransomware Software

You can safeguard your system from ransomware threats by using anti-ransomware software. Your operating system may even have some for free, though it may not be perfect. For example, Windows 10’s baked-in anti-ransomware technology can stop ransomware, but it also crashes programs and throws up false positives regularly. Perhaps that’s why it’s deactivated by default.

You can try downloading proactive anti-malware software that leverages machine learning to stop malware strains. Look for cybersecurity software that rolls back ransomware threats in order to recover from an attack that has corrupted your data.

#2 Use Ransomware Decryptors

While some ransomware like Petya blocks access to your operating system, other ransomware strains encrypt your data. When you pay the attackers, they may send you a decryption key. Fortunately, you can download decryption tools for certain ransomware brands like GrandCrab. If you have been hit by this particular ransomware, look up GandCrab removal tips immediately.

#3 Invest in Backups

Regularly back up your data to quickly recover from a ransomware attack. You can back up data to a local server or a cloud service. For extra security, back up your data to an air-gapped system. Air-gapped systems aren’t connected to the Internet or a local network and are more challenging for ransomware gangs to infect.

#4 Update Your Systems

Some strains of ransomware rely on flaws and vulnerabilities to wreak havoc. Software developers try to release patches for these exploits as soon as they can to protect their users. For example, Microsoft issued a patch to prevent Windows users from being infected by WannaCry ransomware. But many Windows users still contact WannaCry because they don’t patch their systems.

That’s why it’s best practice to download security updates for all your computers and devices regularly. You should also avoid using unlicensed or outdated software because it may no longer receive critical security fixes. While upgrading your software may be an added expense, the extra security is worthwhile.

#5 Don’t Pay the Ransom

Your first instinct may be to pay the ransomware gang after an attack. But explore other options before paying them. Remember, there’s no guarantee that they’ll decrypt your files. Many ransomware gangs disappear after collecting the fee. Additionally, payment may only encourage the attackers to try another round of blackmail.

As mentioned above, try looking for a decryption key. You should also disconnect your system from the Internet and contact anIT specialist for help. Depending on the nature of the threat, the solution may be pretty cost-effective and straightforward.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button