Ransomware is malware that encrypts data and threatens to destroy it if the victim does not pay a ransom. It can be devastating for any business that relies on sensitive data.
Fortunately, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself from this attack.
The moment you realize that your organization is under attack, you should act quickly to protect the health of your system. While this may seem daunting, read about 5 Immediate Steps to take when you discover a ransomware attack.
Remove the Infected Device
Once you recognize the signs that your computer has been infected with malware, responding to ransomware attacks immediately is essential. These include disconnecting all network connections, resetting passwords, and securing backups.
It would help if you removed the infected device from your system immediately. This will stop the malware from spreading and help prevent further data loss.
Sometimes, wiping the infected device and reinstalling your operating system may be necessary. However, this is not recommended because it will lose all the data you have stored on that device.
Malware infections can slow your computer and cause it to run more slowly. This can be a significant problem, primarily if you use the machine for work.
Once the malware is removed from your system, it should run much faster again. You should still use a good anti-virus program to ensure no other infections are hiding in your system. It’s also a good idea to back up your files before you restart the computer.
Disconnect All Network Connections
When you discover a ransomware attack, it’s essential to disconnect any devices attached to the infected device immediately. This includes both wired and wireless connections.
Disconnecting network connections will prevent the malware from being able to communicate with command-and-control servers or infect other systems on the network. It will also prevent the malware from spreading across the network.
Another essential step is to examine your backups for evidence of the ransomware infection. This will give you a head start in figuring out what to do next.
If you have an anti-virus scanner, it likely detected the infection early on and triggered a warning. However, if you haven’t, check if your files have changed their extensions and names.
In addition, monitor for any changes in CPU or hard disk activity. If you notice that your system is using more resources than usual, this could indicate that the ransomware is working in the background.
If you discover a ransomware attack, you need to act quickly. This is because the files encrypted by a ransomware program are inaccessible until you pay the ransom.
The first step you should take is to determine which systems are impacted. This will help you to isolate the infection and prevent the further spread of the malware.
Next, restoring a clean version of the system and re-encrypt data stored on it is essential. This will ensure that no traces of the ransomware remain on the system or in its storage media.
Once you have reinstalled the system, it’s time to reset passwords for all accounts and devices connected to the network. This includes email, social media accounts, and any financial statements the attack may have compromised.
If you have a backup of the infected system, you can use online decryption tools. However, it’s important to note that there is no guarantee that you will get your data back.
Secure Your Backups
One of the most important things to do immediately after a ransomware attack is to secure your backups. This is because many ransomware variants can encrypt data and make it impossible to restore the files unless you pay a ransom.
You can implement backup storage systems that prevent backup data modification. Object-based storage is a good option as it can keep backups locked so that ransomware cannot change them. Some providers also offer a write-once, read-many feature that prevents backups from being modified or deleted during a specific period.
Another way to protect your backups is to keep them as far away from the infected system as possible. For example, if you have multiple backup servers, you could put them all in different cloud accounts and use other operating systems.
It would help if you also hardened the servers that store your backups so they cannot be compromised. This includes requiring separate account access to the backup environment and using multi-factor authentication.
Restore Your Data
Ransomware is malware that encrypts data on the user’s computer and restricts access to it until the victim pays a ransom.
Ransomware can be a devastating attack, but restoring your data is possible if you have a robust backup and recovery plan. You must first remove the infected device, disconnect all network connections, reset passwords, and secure your backups.
You must restore your data from a backup before ransomware attacks your system. This will ensure that the files are not encrypted again by the ransomware once you have removed them from your system.