Ransomware is the worst type of malware that can hit a business or individual. Ransomware has the potential to make an entire organization inoperable for a long time while IT specialists try to sort the issue. More often than not, a ransomware attack can be the cause of a business having to shut down for good due to loss of revenue.
Here is everything you need to know about ransomware to help you understand it and know how to deal with it if it ever happens to you.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software in the same category as worms or trojans. It infests computers and networks, usually through phishing attacks and suspicious downloads, and then wreaks havoc. Ransomware uses encryption technology to scramble your files and make them impossible to use, locking them away, thus making your entire computer network useless. What gives ransomware its name is the fact that the programmer of the software will then demand a ransom in exchange for unlocking the device and network. These ransoms are usually in the form of bitcoin and can be very expensive.
What It Can Do
Because it locks away essential files, documents, and data, a ransomware attack can completely shut down a business for a substantial period of time. It becomes impossible to continue working at a productive rate, and businesses can lose a lot of money trying to remove the ransomware. Ransomware targets both big and small companies and have been known to temporarily stall huge organizations such as the UK’s National Health Service as well as many notable businesses in the US.
How To Recover From It
Once a ransomware attack has taken hold on a computer network, there’s not much a person can do but wait until IT specialists have removed the issue. Depending on the complexity of the encryption, this process can take days and even weeks, which may be very difficult to recover from.
It can be tempting to buckle under the pressure and to pay the ransom. However, this isn’t recommended as the hacker is under no obligation to unlock your stuff and can easily take the money and still leave your devices blocked. The best way to recover from a ransomware attack is to prepare for one.
How To Prepare For a Ransomware Attack
The best way to nullify the effects of a ransomware attack is to regularly and effectively back-up your data onto a separate storage medium. Doing this means that you’ll be able to access your files via other means and be able to continue working in some capacity. One of the best destinations is to backup your data on the cloud through avepoint.com, as you’re able to access this data from other devices.
Another great preventative measure is to educate yourself and your staff on the risks of ransomware and the most common tactics used to access your network. Make sure you can identify phishing emails effectively, as well as implementing rules to discourage staff from clicking on external links from unknown senders.