Ransomware is the most favorite tactic of cybercriminals. They can use it for locking organizations’ data. Thus, the ransomware attacks are increasing with time. Every business is vulnerable to a ransomware attack. It can be very difficult to manage a ransomware attack. This malware can attack your system files. Sometimes they can even lock your entire hard drive. Thus, it is very difficult to retrieve your original data. In this article, we are going to share some tips that will help you in preventing ransomware attacks.
What is a Ransomware attack?
Every ransomware has a single common goal. They want to lock the hard drive of the victim. Also, they want to encrypt sensitive files. Thus, they can ask for money from organizations. Your organization needs to pay money to these hackers. Ransomware will help hackers in encrypting your data. They can hold this data for ransom.
This type of malware can attack both the technical and human weaknesses of an organization. Hackers can completely lock your systems. Sometimes they can also encrypt your resources and files. If you don’t pay the ransom on time, then they will delete your files.
Hackers can use a phishing attack for getting into your network. There are many more hacking attacks that they can use. Sometimes your employees might download an email attachment in your system. These email attachments are mostly malware files. Thus, hackers will get access to your whole network. The virus will automatically start encrypting your files. It will stop you from accessing the system. The hacker will tell you that they have already stolen your data. If you want your data back, then you need to pay them some money.
They will mostly ask you for bitcoins. It is impossible to trace this currency. Thus, police authorities can’t trace the hacker. If you have paid the ransom, then they might unlock your data. However, there is no guarantee that they will unlock the data even after getting money.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Most attackers use email for sending malware. However, they can also use other vulnerabilities and backdoors. We are going to share some tips that will help you in avoiding this attack.
Backup your data and systems
It is important to back up your data and systems. You can store this backup in the cloud and offsite data centers. This is very important for your organization. It will ensure that your data is backed up in a safe location. Thus, hackers can’t access your data. If hackers have already hacked your system, then you can wipe the whole data. You can directly restore your data.
If you are not backing up your system, then it can be catastrophic for your business. You can use a cloud solution for protecting your data. Cloud providers are already using redundant solutions. Thus, it will provide extra protection to your data. You should have multiple backups of your data.
Threat Detection System
There are many amazing ransomware protection tools available in the market. These tools will help you in identifying potential ransomware attacks. Early threat management systems will help you in finding instructions. Thus, you can quickly prevent the attack. You will also get free antivirus software with this tool.
It is also important to use firewalls. These firewalls will ensure that only authorized people can access your network or computer. You can combine a firewall with a web content filter. It is also important to use the best email security practices. Email security is important for modern companies. This will ensure that your employees will not download unwanted attachments.
You can also use the Group Policy feature of Windows. This tool will help you in defining how people can access your system. It will help you in blocking the execution of many files. Users can’t execute files that are stored in download or temporary folders. Many attackers will use these local folders for storing their files. Thus, you can stop the attack by blocking the execution of files.
It is important to ensure that your whole system is updated. You should download all the security patches for your system. These updates will protect your computer from known vulnerabilities. There are many tools that will help you in avoiding ransomware attacks. You can also use these tools for protecting your system.
Install Anti Ransomware Software
You need to find a good antivirus for your system. Make sure that your security software is providing anti-ransomware, antivirus, and anti-malware protection. It is also important to update the virus definitions. This will ensure that your security software can protect you from the latest attacks.
Run Security Scans
You should ensure that you are scanning your devices regularly. It is important to scan both your mobile device and the computer. These scans will help you finding malware in your system.
Create Recovery and Restore Points
It is important to create restore points. If you are using windows, then you can directly check the control panel. There is a system restore option in the control panel. This will help you in creating regular restore points. If your computer is hacked, then you can use these restore points for recovering your systems.
Train your Employees
Most hacking attacks occur due to poor cybersecurity practices. Your employees don’t know anything about cybersecurity. Thus, they also don’t know about the best cybersecurity practices. Hackers mostly look for employees that are not tech-savvy.
Your employees should know about basic things like a phishing attack. They should know how to recognize these phishing emails. Make sure that they know about the latest ransomware. Your employees must never click on unknown links.
You should regularly train your employees. This will ensure that your employees know about the ransomware attacks. They should examine every link and attachments before opening them. You should tell them the consequences of ransomware attacks.
The coronavirus outbreak has forced everyone to embrace remote work. Thus, your employees might be working from home now. Your employees should have access to the VPN. This VPN will ensure that their connection is protected. Make sure that they are not using public Wi-Fi for accessing your network. Hackers can easily break public Wi-Fi networks.
Enforce Strong Password Policy
You should work on creating a strong password policy. There are many enterprise password managers available in the market. Your employees might use weak passwords. Hackers can use brute force attacks for predicting their passwords. Hence, they should password managers for creating strong passwords.
Think before clicking on any link
Hackers will mostly use email attachments for sending malware. Thus, you should never open email attachments with extensions like .scr, .vbs, and .exe. These are executable files. Thus, these files can directly install the malware in your system.
Trusted sources will never send these executable files. Thus, you should never open these files. These files are mostly virus or ransomware. You should also think before clicking on any unknown link. Hackers can spoof the address for stealing your data. Make sure that you are only clicking on the links that you trust. This will help you in avoiding ransomware attacks.
Check File Extensions
If you are using windows, then you need to ensure that you can check the file extensions. The file extensions mostly consist of three letters. It will help you in understanding the file type. If the extension is .pdf, then it is a PDF file. Similarly, document files have .docx extension. Executable files have .scr, .vbs and .exe extensions. You need to ensure that you are not opening these executable files. These executable files mostly contain malware.
Block Fake or Unknown Email Addresses
If someone is sending you executable attachments, then you should block their email address. It is important to set up your own mail server. This will help you in rejecting the addresses of spammers. You can use Icann for getting a list of spammers. It is important to filter the incoming mails.
Apply OS and Software patches
Most malware will take advantage of already present security bugs in your software or OS. Thus, it is important to download the latest patches and updates in your computer.
If your OS is updated, then hackers can’t use already known bugs for hacking into your system. Hackers will mostly target computers that have known vulnerabilities. For example, WannaCry was using the old vulnerability of Windows for hacking into systems. There was already a security patch available in the market. However, most people don’t update their systems. Thus, it was easy to find vulnerable systems. Companies can use security patches for preventing many hacking attacks.
Block broken and vulnerable plug-ins
Hackers can also use web plug-ins for injecting malware into your system. They can use web plug-ins like Flash and Java. Most websites are using these plug-ins. Thus, they are an easy target for these hackers. It is important to update plug-ins regularly.
Limit your internet connectivity
If you are dealing with sensitive data, then you should keep your network private. It is important to ensure that your network is separated from the internet. If you are not connecting your computer with the internet, then it is impossible to get malware. However, this might be impractical for many companies. Most companies are using the internet for conducting their business. You can still keep your main servers away from the internet. This will help you in protecting your sensitive data.
Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
You should also have a DR plan for dealing with the ransomware attack. It is important to ensure that you won’t face downtime during the attack. The Disaster Recovery plan will help you in dealing with most attacks. Your DR plan is the most important thing in your security strategy.
You need to ensure that your employees can communicate with each other. You must determine the equipment that you are going to buy for maintaining business continuity. There should be a detailed plan for accessing your data. It is important to implement a strict backup policy. Make sure that you are regularly backing up your data. This will help you in preventing data loss. You can also implement a DR Service.
How to Detect Ransomware attack?
You should try your best to avoid a ransomware attack. However, sometimes it is impossible to prevent this attack. You should regularly scan your system. If your antivirus detects the ransomware, then you should immediately delete the file. This might help you in avoiding the attack.
If hackers have already got access to your data, then you should try to minimize the data. You should immediately isolate the machine from your network. This will help you in protecting your critical assets. You should try to rebuild your whole system. It is important to download all the backups. System restore can also help you in recovering many files and resources. However, you should still have access to your system.
If you have lost access to your system, then you should format your whole system. You should try to install everything from your backups. If you have already backed up your data, then this is the best option for you. You can easily find the best restore point. This will help you in restoring the system without paying any ransom.
It is never a good idea to pay ransom to these hackers. They will only become more motivated. There is no guarantee that they are going to decrypt your files. According to a report by Symantec, more than 53% of companies don’t get their data back after paying the ransom. Thus, you should use your money in creating a good DR plan.
Ransomware attacks and data breaches are the nightmares of every company. You can use these tips for detecting a ransomware attack. These tips will help you in avoiding a ransomware attack. Thus, they will help you in keeping your IT assets safe. It is important to stop a ransomware attack in the starting. Thus, make sure that you are working in a trusted data center. They will help you in regularly backing up your data. If you need more security tips, then you can contact Bleuwire.
Contact us today to learn about Bleuwire™ services and solutions in how we can help your business.