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How to Survive a Ransomware Attack Without Paying a Ransom

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How to Survive a Ransomware Attack Without Paying a Ransom

November 11
18:36 2021

Ransomware attacks are causing big problems for businesses around the world. Cybersecurity solutions provider SonicWall reported the number of ransomware attacks rose 62 percent worldwide between 2019 and 2020. In addition, the FBI recorded nearly 2,500 ransomware complaints last year, up 20 percent year over year.

Cybercriminals launch ransomware attacks against all types of businesses. Meanwhile, a single ransomware attack can cause revenue losses, brand reputation damage, compliance penalties, and other long-lasting business problems. The longer this attack goes undetected and unaddressed, the more damage it can cause for a business, its employees, and its customers, too.

The bottom line: ransomware is an issue, and your company must do everything in its power to guard against it. And with the right approach, you can survive a ransomware attack without paying a ransom.

5 Tips to Survive a Ransomware Attack Without Paying a RansomHere are five things your business can do to survive a ransomware attack without paying a ransom.

1. Evaluate the Scope of the AttackLook at the facts surrounding the ransomware attack. Identify what systems are affected by the attack. Also, find out if cybercriminals have encrypted operating system files, network shares, and cloud file systems.

Once you know the scope of the ransomware attack, get in touch with executives, IT staff, and other team members about the incident. From here, your team can understand the attack and work together to limit its impact.

2. Lock Your SystemsDeactivate any systems impacted by the ransomware attack. If you are unsure about what systems have been affected, err on the side of caution and lock all of them.

Locking your systems prevents any further encryption by ransomware attackers. It also stops ransomware from spreading across your systems until you resolve the attack.

3. Identify Patient ZeroFigure out the source of the ransomware infection. To do so, consider what permissions are required to modify encrypted files across your systems. Next, look at who has those permissions. You can also view open files on shared drives to find infected users.

Keep all computers and mobile devices off of your network until you identify patient zero. If necessary, go through every device to ensure each one is free of ransomware and other malicious software.

4. Use Your BackupsIf possible, execute backups to restore access to your systems. Verify that your backups are good and current before you utilize them. Otherwise, you risk beginning the process to restore your systems and watching your backups fail. 

It can take several days to conduct a full system restore using backups. To calculate your restore time, start the process and see how far you get within 15 to 30 minutes. Next, you can use this information to get a good idea about how long it will take to complete the restore process.

5. Document Your ActionsKeep track of your ransomware attack response. Document all activities throughout the incident and the steps you’ve taken to mitigate the attack without paying the ransom.

Remember, documentation is key to limit the impact of ransomware attacks and other cyberattacks. You can use your documents to review your incident response and identify strengths and weaknesses in your cybersecurity posture. As such, you can get valuable insights you can use to guard against current and evolving cyber threats.

Don’t Pay a Cyber Ransom — Prepare for Ransomware Attacks Today

There is no telling when a ransomware attack will occur. By planning ahead, you can stop ransomware attacks in their early stages. And you can minimize the risk that a ransomware attack causes a data breach that forces you to decide whether to pay a cyber ransom.

Use the aforementioned tips to protect against ransomware attacks and, if your business is not equipped with a robust IT department, invest in turn-key cybersecurity solutions. That way, you can keep your business systems safe and lower your risk of a ransomware infection now and in the future.

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