We all know how dangerous ransomware attacks are — they can shut down hospitals, banks, oil refineries, small businesses, and more until a ransom is paid. Some organizations permanently close because even after paying the ransom, they can’t recover all critical data. Additionally, the damage to a company’s reputation can be irreversible.
Even people at home can fall victim to the malware, having to pay money through bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency to a hacker to regain access to their computers. Here a few ways you can fight ransomware:
1. Advanced Antivirus Software
You can’t solely depend on your operating system’s basic antivirus software to shield yourself from ransomware. Such tools usually rely on signature-based technology, and emerging threats like ransomware sometimes don’t have known signatures. It would help if you had advanced antivirus software that can analyze a potential threat for malicious behavior and stop it before it does damage.
For example, the default Windows 10 ransomware protection software is known to offer false positives. Download the best free ransomware protection tools for your computer that can shield your device proactively.
2. Develop Safe Habits
Your organization needs to follow safe computing habits to keep ransomware at bay. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Don’t click untrustworthy links
Avoid opening suspicious emails
Steer clear of dodgy websites
Don’t use unknown USB sticks, even out of curiosity
Don’t insert mysterious CDs and DVDs
Verify online communication before sharing sensitive information
Use firewalls to protect networks
Try a corporate Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt data
3. Create Backups
Although creating backups of your essential files and folders can seem like a chore, it’s a crucial step in the fight against any malware that can corrupt or encrypt your data. After removing the malicious software, you can reduce downtime by restoring your files. Consider creating two types of backups:
Weekly backups on an encrypted hard drive.
Daily backups online on a cloud service.
To make the task less labor-intensive, you can subscribe to an automatic backup service that requires minimal human interaction and keeps your data secure. Test the backups regularly to ensure it’s all going smoothly.
4. Update your Software
Many cybercriminals rely on system vulnerabilities to install malware on your system. Additionally, some hackers upload unlicensed software infected with malware to piracy websites in order to target unsuspecting users. Patch your operating system and other critical pieces of software regularly to plug security holes. Please also avoid using unlicensed or obsolete software because such software is usually challenging to update.
5. Learn to Isolate Systems
Monitor your system for threats like brute force attacks from the same IP addresses. It’s also critical to segment your systems so you can isolate infected computers from the rest of the network as soon as you suspect a ransomware attack. Ransomware targets Internet-connected computers, so you may need to disable your connection rapidly to fight back against hackers.
Even with the best cybersecurity tools, excellent training, and more, your company may fall prey to a ransomware attack. Here, it’s critical to get in touch with law enforcement as soon as possible. In the past, it was almost unheard of for the authorities to recover cryptocurrency after a crime. But the Feds are breaking new ground against ransom hackers.
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