It’s a typical day in the office where dedicated employees are processing routine tasks. Yet, this time a right-click to access an important file turns into a heart-racing screen message – “Will it be your money or your company’s life?” Unfortunately, the opportunity to proactively avoid ransomware attacks was missed.
Ransomware attacks are becoming more common every day, it is estimated that one company will fall victim every 11 seconds. These attacks can lead to the loss of important data or files and the disruption of critical services. They are often hard to detect and stop. Meaning that cybercriminals can cause damage to entire systems before the attacks are identified, controlled, and stopped. With an average cost of around $812,360, a ransomware attack would cause a significant financial impact. Is your company ready to pay that amount of money? Can you afford the loss of critical data?
No one ever expects to be a victim of a ransomware attack, but unfortunately, it can happen in an instant.
So how do ransomware attacks work?
Cybercriminals get into systems, networks, and servers through phishing emails, malware, or exploiting vulnerable software and operating systems. Once inside, they encrypt your information and demand payment for its release. In essence – They hold your data hostage!
The attack generally starts by infecting a system through a security loophole, such as an outdated antivirus program or a phishing email.
The attacker will encrypt your data and then demand a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. Paying the ransom does not guarantee access to the decryption key. And in some cases, these malicious actors may publish the stolen data on the dark web. Making ransomware attacks dangerous!
How do you protect yourself from these attacks?
- Backup critical data regularly – Good habits can prevent injuries! Make several copies of your local backup, and maintain daily data backups. Verify that you have isolated copies stored outside your network.
- Be careful with emails! – Emails are the most common technique used to perpetuate ransomware. Make sure to only open emails from trusted sources and never click on suspicious links or attachments.
- Contact your IT provider and ask them to check your system for potential security breaches and to perform necessary protection upgrades. Additionally, ask them to configure firewalls and security protocols, such as user authentication, data encryption, and essential antivirus software, to ensure the highest possible level of protection.
What to do if you are attacked?
If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, do not panic. Instead, contact your trusted cybersecurity professional immediately for help. Next, consider taking these steps.
- Disconnect your systems and keep infected computers isolated.- The ransomware will search for debilities in your network and opportunities to spread out. Look for infected computers, and isolate and disconnect them as fast as possible!
- Never do backups during an attack. You could amplify the infection, putting other backups at risk. Make sure to turn off any automatic backup system in place.
- Don’t pay for the ransomware unless you have exhausted all other options. You can’t be 100% sure the attackers will give you cipher keys to decrypt your data. Paying the ransom will only encourage attackers to launch additional attacks and develop more sophisticated ways to trick others. And it may be possible to recover the encrypted files without paying a ransom. That’s where your experienced IT professional comes in.
Fortunately, there are advanced measures businesses can take to reduce becoming victimized.
TEK Utah is proud to introduce our new ransomware detection service! Our licensed add-on service can actively monitor and detect ransomware activity and protect your managed Window operating devices, especially for critical systems like servers and c-level executives. Should an attack happen, we can even reactively stop it before it spreads. By analyzing the behavior of your files, our proprietary technology can isolate affected machines from your network to prevent further damage.
We have the tools to help you monitor and detect ransomware activity before it is too late. By providing around-the-clock suspicious activity detection, we’ll ensure that your operating systems and software are up-to-date, secure your network connections, and provide tips for you and your employees on avoiding phishing emails and other scams. If you fall victim to a ransomware attack, do not hesitate to call us immediately. We have expert Level 3 Technicians who can go on-site and help you stop the spread of this invasion and set up safeguards to prevent it.
Protect your business from the devastating effects of ransomware – secure your comprehensive no-cost IT assessment and consultation here!