Ransomware: What does the future look like?

by | Apr 27, 2022 | IT Security | 0 comments

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Ransomware: What does the future look like?

There’s a new cyberbully in town and his name is called ransomware. If you’re not familiar with it, ransomware is a form of malware that locks your computer or mobile device until you pay a ransom to the attacker. In some cases, paying the ransom does not release the encrypted data as seen with the notpetya ransomware attack of 2017. Ransomware is becoming an increasingly popular way for cybercriminals to extort money from businesses, and it’s something that we all need to be aware of. So what can we do to protect ourselves against ransomware attacks? And what does the future hold for this type of malware? Stay tuned for more information. 

 What Is Ransomware? 

One of the most pernicious types of malware is ransomware. It threatens to publish or block access until you pay a ransom fee, which can be as little as 250 USD all the way to a multi-million dollar sum. The amount often depends on the target as individuals will often be charged far less than small-large businesses.  In many cases even if the sum is paid the criminals will still not relinquish your files. So often, it is not advised to pay the aggressors as it also condones this type of action to occur again.

How To Protect Your Business From Ransomware Attacks

Keep Software/Hardware Up To Date  

The latest operating software is a must-have for businesses of all sizes. Past experience shows that companies that neglect this area are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks. It’s essential you stay up with the newest releases and patches available at any given time – not only will your company be less susceptible but also other employees might rely on those updates too! 

 

Use an updated Antivirus/Antimalware solution  

Use an effective and reliable antivirus solution like ESET and perform regular scans. Antivirus/malware programs prevent malware and viruses from harming a computer or mobile phone by running in the background while providing real-time protection without disrupting what you’re doing online. 

 

Consider Cloud Backups  

The benefits of using cloud storage for your company’s data are immense. First, the vulnerabilities in these systems make it difficult to exploit them and get access without permission or malware on one’s machine. This is an issue that can arise when processing local files with an On-premise system because they’re physically located near you! Second; restoring older versions becomes much easier since all snapshots/backups exist remotely at any given time so if anything happens (i..e.- a file gets accidentally deleted) there is always another copy available right away. 

Perform Regular Data Backups  

Backups are important for any business environment. They should be done on a daily basis, and the responsibility of performing them shouldn’t just lie with one person – it needs to have clear guidelines so everyone knows what they need to do when faced with data loss events. These can range from fire, water, theft, or breaches and if a person is not prepared can lead to catastrophic damage. 

Increase Employee Awareness  

Security protocols for employees can make them more aware of potential threats and safer in their work environment. They should be able to assess whether an attachment, link, or email is trustworthy before clicking on it with confidence! 

Everyday Ransomware Reduction Techniques 

Do Not Use Unknown USB Sticks

The USB stick is a common target for cybercriminals who want to install malware on your computer. Never use unknown sticks or connect any storage media that you do not know where it came from because there’s no telling what could be lurking within.  

Do Not Click On Unsafe Links

Be careful when clicking on links in emails or websites you don’t know. If it seems too good to be true, then IT IS probably false! Also, avoid clicking on links in spam messages or unknown websites.  

 

Avoid Disclosing Personal Information

If you receive a call, text message or email from an unknown source requesting personal information do not reply. Cybercriminals might use this data to customize their phishing messages specifically for you. 

 

What To Do If You’ve Been Infected With Ransomware

 1. Isolate the Infected computer 

The first thing to do when you suspect your computer is being infected with a virus or malware should be to isolate it from other devices on the network. Disconnecting both wired and wireless connections will ensure that no one else can access an isolated system while it is investigated what’s going wrong internally, which may help reduce exposure for potential hackers trying to determine how they were caught in this situation. 

 

2. Identify the Ransomware Type  

With the help of identifying ransomware, you will be able to understand what type of malware has infected your device and how it spreads. You may also need assistance from law enforcement/specialists in removing this harmful application or disinfecting affected devices properly before more damage is done! 

3. Contact the Authorities  

Ransomware victims should report all incidents of ransomware to the authorities. The police urge you not only to do this for your own safety but also because it provides law enforcement with information that can be used in their investigation. This information helps them combat these criminals who think nothing about harming innocent people in order to make money. 

 4. Weigh Your Options  

Your options when infected with ransomware are: To pay the ransom, try to remove the malware yourself, or contact an experienced computer repair professional. It’s generally considered a bad idea to give in and pay just because it encourages cybercriminals to continue their actions. 

 5. Remove The Infection  

It’s important to wipe all systems completely when you are done with them so that no remnants of malware or ransomware can remain on your device. This will also ensure a fresh start for installing new programs and transferring data from old ones, which is why it’s best practice always to do full wipes after using such software! 

 

The Future Of Ransomware

The truth of the matter is Ransomware attacks are increasing in number and becoming more sophisticated. With the promise of large payouts for cybercriminals and companies continuing to pay ransoms, it is predicted that the number of ransomware attempts will only increase.

Although there are several ways to help prevent ransomware, businesses should also have a plan in place for how to respond to a ransomware attack.  Want help preventing ransomware attacks? Contact us today! We can help you create a security plan that will keep your business safe from cybercrime.

Maverick Gardner is a growing leader MSP (Managed Service Provider) in IT Consulting, Infrastructure. IT Services, Support and Maintenance Services, Cloud, Deployment and Procurement, Disaster Recovery, IT Outsourcing Services, and more!

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