Individuals and organizations face a series of cyber-attacks from time to time. One of the major ones that have surely gained a massive following since the start of the pandemic is ransomware. So it is necessary to fight against how to prevent ransomware.
Truth be told, a series of hacking attempts went up during the time of the lockdown. At a time when the world should have banded together to find a lasting solution to the pandemic, some hackers were busy finding ways to profit off of unsuspecting individuals.
Now that the curve is being flattened gradually, we do not expect these hackers to just lay their arms down. Thus, we explore some of the ways to stay safe against such attacks should they come your way.
Prevention is Best
As it is with most things, it is better to prevent a ransomware attack from happening at all than try to salvage it when it does happen. No matter how safe you are, though, simple errors and flaws could leave the room for them to happen.
That is why we have discussed safety tips for preventing the ransomware attack happening at all – and what to do if it ever happens.
Before It Happens
Do these to strengthen your security profile.
1. Back up your files
A solid backup plan means that you are never scared of anyone taking control of your data and demanding a ransom for it. You could as well just format your systems and restore them from backup. That way, you not only lock the hacker out but also prevent them from having continued access to your data.
Furthermore, backing up your files allows you to react better and faster if anything were ever to happen.
2. Check Connections
Be careful of inter-computer connections that you make to, or from, your units.
For one, be wary of connecting your smartphones, external storage device, or computer to external sources. This is especially true when such external sources are public devices or unencrypted units. The same goes for having such devices connect to your internal system/ network also. That way, you do not run the risk of ransomware being installed on your devices.
3. Update and Upgrade
Your devices have firmware that should be updated as soon as the OEM sends out new software. The same is true for the programs and applications that you are using on such devices.
These updates usually come to fix security issues and patch flaws found in the system. Not installing them ASAP means that your devices are still vulnerable against such attacks that you should be preventing against.
4 . Install Security Software
If you do not have any security software running on your devices or network, then you are wrong.
An antivirus software, for one, helps to detect malware before it registers onto your device. The source of that malware could be from an online download, connection to an external computer, or another source of external/ internal breaches.
Likewise, get a VPN to secure your internet connection. This prevents cases of man in the middle attacks, conversation hijacking, and such other attacks common with unencrypted networks.
5. Be Alert
Always be educated and vigilant about digital risks. Make sure you understand how to detect possible ransomware and phishing attacks. Alternatively, you can hire a cybersecurity expert to check your organization’s systems.
Make sure to implement the ideas in their security audit too lest it is an exercise in futility.
If it Happens
So, what should you do if you happen to be a victim of ransomware? Here is the only tip that we have for you: do not negotiate!
Negotiating with terrorists is usually a bad idea, so we don’t want you doing that. If you have followed the pieces of advice above, you should have a backup ready.
Simply wipe down your system and restore all of your files from backup. If you do not have a backup file, it is recommended that you wipe the system anyways and cut your losses.
Every minute that you leave your files with the hackers, they get to comb through it for something more valuable. They can take your money and delete the files anyway. They can also take your money and still sell your files to the highest bidder. In short, negotiating with them is just not worth it.