It is pertinent to understand how to protect your business from ransomware. The rate of ransomware attacks affecting Australian organisations is above the global rate.
As of November 2020, more than 67% of Australian entities had been victims of ransomware attacks in the preceding twelve months. 33% of the impacted enterprises paid the demanded ransom, averaging AUD 1.25 million per attack.
The high rate of ransomware attacks targeting Australian businesses means it is essential to understand how to fix a ransomware attack.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a malicious program designed to encrypt a victim’s computer files and information. Hackers provide the decryption tool or key only once the targeted organisation pays up the demanded ransom, generally in the form of bitcoins.
The primary method used to introduce ransomware to a computer system is through phishing emails. You may be wondering how does ransomware affect businesses?. Potential impacts include disrupted business operations, destroyed reputation, loss of critical data, and ransomware works depending on the type and variant.
1. eCh0raix: It is a ransomware variant that targets end-devices connected to network storage. Hackers first gain system access by exploiting security vulnerabilities and introduce the malware, which is designed to encrypt mass systems.
2. REvil/Sodinokibi/Sodin: This ransomware exploits zero-day vulnerabilities in Windows systems and elevates privileges. It does not require user interaction to trigger an infection, and it can be triggered remotely.
3. Robinhood ransomware: The ransomware targets computer systems connected to entire networks. It is still unclear how Robinhood ransomware propagates across a network, but it encrypts all system files upon infection.
How to deal with a ransomware attack
As a business, it is essential to understand how to get rid of ransomware. The first rule to remember is never to pay the ransom if your organisation becomes a victim of a ransomware attack. Paying does not guarantee that the attacker will provide the decryption keys and allow you to regain access.
Besides, there is no telling whether the attack destroyed or deleted the information and backups.
One common way of how to fix a ransomware virus is using a renowned security product to run a scan and eliminate the threat. Such products include antimalware solutions with integrated ransomware protection.
Although such methods may not recover the affected files or data, they are integral to cleaning up a computer system to get rid of the malware infection.
Other types of ransomware infections, such as lock-screen malware, are advanced and prevent users from accessing any application or function in the infected computer. Using malware scanners may not work and call for more technical means of how to fix a ransomware attack.
Such techniques include full system restore. A system restore does not affect the user’s personal files but may lead to loss of backups and essential data.
How to protect against ransomware attacks
In the event your organisation becomes a victim of a ransomware attack, the following steps elaborate how to fix a ransomware attack to protect essential systems and data, as well as limit the malware infection:
1. Disconnect from the internet: A ransomware infection requires a network to spread to other systems. Disconnect the internet upon detecting a ransomware attack to prevent hackers from controlling it remotely. Ensure to disconnect other devices from the network to limit the ransomware from spreading further. Isolating the infected components from wireless or cabled connections is vital to containing infections.
2. Unplug storage devices: Ransomware attackers prioritise locking valuable information to scare their victims into paying the demanded ransom. Therefore, unplug all storage devices upon detecting a ransomware attack to protect critical data from being infected. Businesses should consider cloud storage rather than on-premise storage devices that can be easily infected if connected to an already-infected system.
3. User education: Email phishing is the preferred method for introducing malware into a network. Businesses should train their employees on how to identify phishing emails and links. Also, user training and awareness equips other essential skills that can stop a ransomware incident.
4. Invest in ransomware protection: Companies should consider investing in proven ransomware protection systems. They are designed to detect different ransomware variants and stop them from encrypting sensitive business and customer information.
5. Maintain secure backups: You must ensure to maintain secure backups consistently to prevent data loss. Cloud storages with multi-factor authentication and high-level encryption can enable businesses to keep daily backups.
6. Ensure all software and systems are updated: For a ransomware attack to be successful, attackers must first identify existing vulnerabilities and exploit them. Outdated products and systems are vulnerable to multiple attacks since they lack essential security updates and definitions. Ensure to download the latest updates and patches from the original vendors to address vulnerabilities and stop ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks can destroy your business’s reputation and cause massive financial and information losses. Ransomware variants evolve everyday and you, therefore, need advanced ransomware protection mechanisms.
CyberNinjas is a leading provider of ransomware protection services. We use stealth attack detection technologies and machine learning models to detect and stop sophisticated ransomware. Contact us today to get the best ransomware protection measures for your business.