noun ran·som·ware | /ˈransəmˌwer/

Definition of ransomware: Malicious software that encrypts data and locks down computer systems under the threat of deleting or publishing private data unless a ransom is paid to the hacker. This is a type of digital extortion holding data “hostage” to elicit an emotional response.

Avoid Paying the Ransom

From an official statement from the United States Government, “the FBI does not support paying a ransom in response to a ransomware attack. Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee you or your organization will get any data back. It also encourages perpetrators to target more victims and offers an incentive for others to get involved in this type of illegal activity.”

The important thing to note here is the fact that if your computer has been compromised, it’s extremely like that the hacker has either already downloaded your data or the data has been deleted in an attempt to cripple your organization. Criminals are not ethical. Paying the money requested doesn’t make any guarantees that your data will be restored.

Proactive measures are best for avoiding ransomware altogether or making the recovery process manageable, but regardless there are alternative remediation options that are cost-effective (and ethical). If you need to explore these options with an account manager, please contact us today.

What You Can Do

If you or one of your employees falls victim to a ransomware attack, which is often the result of a successful phishing attempt, there are some important things to keep in mind.

Data Backups | Not only having but confirming up-to-date and reliable data backups is one of the most crucial ways to combat ransomware because you can essentially restore your account to a point in time where you weren’t infected.

Ransomware Detection | Our Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) platform has built-in functionality that detects and essentially locks down a system if it detects that ransomware software has made its way into the network.

Monitoring Suspicious Behaviors | Malware can often sit inside a network undetected for several months. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) or a comparable solution specializes in detecting behaviors above actual malware which makes it a very advanced and effective defense. (Ex. Someone logs into your network and accesses your Accounting software at 2:00 in the morning. This behavior would be flagged and shut down.)

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