Ransomware: Don’t Let Your Company Be Held Hostage

Ransomware Protection helps with Productivity and Overall IT Security

The productivity of your employees is paramount. Ransomware protection serves as another security layer and impacts multiple aspects of your business IT security, including productivity.

Don't Be Held Hostage by Ransomware Attacks

Unfortunately, with a single mouse click, one employee could bring your entire company to a screeching halt. Even worse, with a ransomware attack, your company could be held hostage to pay a substantial amount of money to return to business-as-usual. That’s the definition of ransomware – a growing epidemic amongst small, medium, and even enterprise businesses.

How do I know if I am affected by Ransomware?

If you’ve been affected by ransomware, you’ll become aware very quickly. You may have clicked on a spam/phishing email or visited an unknown website and clicked a link. Your computer probably seems to be acting very slow, and error messages are popping up. Finally, you may see something like…

petya ransomware
Yes, you have been infected.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware will be spread via spam or phishing most commonly, but can also be attached to websites and then penetrate your network. People who craft this malware are constantly trying to find new ways to infect your computer. Once infected, the ransomware software will lock your files using an encryption protocol. At this point, your computer is unusable, and there will be some messaging demanding a payment. Typically, payment is demanded in bitcoins to decrypt your files.

But it won’t happen to my company…

Ransomware Attacks Do not Discriminate

Ransomware does not discriminate. It does not matter if you have a large or small organization. No computer is immune from being attacked. Ransomware attacks like WannaCry even show how hundreds of thousands of computers are susceptible to attack. Ransomware has become so widespread that all companies are at risk.

What do I do if I get infected and do not have any Ransomware Protection?

Remove the infected computer from its ethernet connection or wireless connection immediately.

Some Ransomware wants to begin seeking out additional computers on the network once it’s downloaded.

Identify the type of Ransomware.

You can go to sites like nomoreransom.org or id-ransomware.malwarehunterteam.com, which will help identify what type of Ransomware you have and what you are dealing with.

Report to the authorities and your insurance company.

The FBI urges victims to report the infection, and your insurance policy may contain a cybersecurity policy. They should be made aware of and will assist.

ransomware

Your Options After a Ransomware Attack

Determine your options. At this point, you only have 3 viable options.

  1. Try to remove the malware, which is sometimes easier said than done.
  2. Pay the ransom.
  3. In most cases, people are urged not to pay the ransom because there is no guarantee that you will get your computer unlocked upon payment upon payment.
  4. Wipe your system completely.
  5. Unfortunately, if you have any information saved locally, it will all be lost. But, by rebuilding the system from scratch, it will ensure that everything is gone.

If you decide to pay and they provide you the encryption code, it is strongly urged to get your files off that computer and then rebuild the machine to ensure that no other ransomware is lying dormant for another day.

What do I do after remediation?

Corporate employees should continuously be vigilant in making sure that they do not open questionable emails or visit questionable websites while in the office. Ongoing training such as those that cover phishing emails are available for a nominal cost and can help employees identify what to look for. Implementing best practices for ransomware protection and ransomware removal can mitigate the risk of this happening again.

What if I don’t have time for any of that?

ACS has helped many companies who have been attacked and have implemented tighter safeguards and training to reduce the chance of future ransomware attacks.

If you would like to speak with us about protecting your organization better, please contact us.

We would be more than happy to help you assess your level of risk.

Businessman on blurred background using digital padlock with data protection 3D rendering

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