It is 9 PM and you have a deadline to finish data entry and email a report to your boss. A small window appears asking you to update and you in a rush click on it and boom! Your system seems unresponsive. What happened? Well, the software update was actually a malware attack! You had let your guard down for a second and you got slammed. This is not it. You receive a message stating that you need to pay a certain amount in bitcoins to retrieve your data.
To make things worse, if you didn’t have your data backed up, then you are in hot waters. Because the data is the only asset that your system has, you can not compromise on that. But if you are lucky and your data is backed up somewhere safe, then you do not even have to respond to anyone. Ransomware attacks are generally targeted at those users who have for some reason not upgraded their devices and the security system and antivirus software.
As soon as you have the notification of Ransomware, notify your IT department. They must have a secure backup plan ready to execute in terms of a malware problem. They then inform the authorities to investigate the source of the ransomware threat.
In most cases, the data is either partially affected or incomplete encryption has taken place. This makes it easier to retrieve data. If your data is completely affected, then there is no other way, but to disconnect the devices and restore data from the backup that you have. Remember, if you will not disconnect the devices, your data will continue to get infected by the virus and it will be tough to get it back. The backup system works best when all devices are offline and cannot be destroyed further.
In case, you have no security plans, no backup data, no proper data recovery plan or no way of solving the issue at hand, then all you can do is pay the ransom and pray that all your data is restored immediately. Security officials warn that once you have paid there’s no guarantee that you will be able to get your data back. There is also a possibility that once you pay, you might become vulnerable to the hacker and he might come back asking for more. It is also important to know that the system needs to be checked thoroughly for any hidden malware that may arise later.
If your company agrees to pay a minimum amount which can be $100 to $300 depending on the company, then after the payment is made, do notify the authorities and ask them to help you build up a better security system. Learn to back up your data regularly and keep the backup device disconnected from the main server. Train your staff and teach them the importance of strong passwords. Use antivirus and a reliable firewall to protect your system.