Ransomware remains rife, so businesses have to not just be aware of how they can defend against this type of attack, but also what to do in order to pick up the pieces after being successfully targeted.
To that end, let’s look at the tactics and tools you’ve got at your disposal if ransomware makes its way onto your systems.
Sever the ties
If left unchecked, there’s a chance that ransomware can spread from one infected device to other hardware connected to the same network.
For this reason, your first move must be to disconnect the device in question, not only from the wired or wireless connection it is using, but also from any additional components that it’s connected to directly, including external storage solutions, thumb drives and so on.
Acting quickly should spare other workstations, servers and handsets from the same fate, but be vigilant for indications that data has been encrypted and rendered inaccessible elsewhere within your infrastructure.
Resist the temptation to pay out anything
As the name suggests, ransomware works by locking away your precious info and requesting payment to reverse this.
Paying a ransom to a cybercriminal has a high likelihood of leaving you with less cash in your account as well as without access to your data. It also shows you to be a ripe target, and so you’ll be more exposed to subsequent malware infection attempts.
Call in experts for help cleaning up the ransomware and recovering your data
You might not have the in-house resources to cope with the fallout of a ransomware infection yourself, so working with specialists like those at Techspert IT professionals is sensible in many cases.
Unless you really know what you’re doing, attempting to tinker with an infected device could actually make things worse, not better. Calling in experts in this field is a way to give yourself the best chance of salvaging something from a dilemma like this.
Bear in mind that it’s not just about decrypting data that’s been compromised by an infection, but also quarantining the malicious code and making sure that it doesn’t end up leaping to other devices, as discussed earlier.
Alert the authorities
The only way to bring the fight to cybercriminals is to ensure that they face the full might of the international effort by governments and regulators to disrupt and destroy their operations.
Your responsibility as the victim of a ransomware attack is to report this incident to the relevant authorities in your region, so that steps can be taken to prevent others being hit by the same strategies going forward.
Indeed you may find that you are legally bound to report this type of breach, and may face punishment for failing to disclose it in any case, so it is doubly worth doing as soon as possible.
Look for signs of data theft
Having sensitive data encrypted and made inaccessible to you is one thing, but learning that it has been stolen by crooked third parties is quite another.
The so-called exfiltration of private information is one of the tactics that some ransomware packages use to extract maximum value from a successful attack. A good firewall should be able to tell you whether or not this occurred, and experts can advise you on what to do next in this context.
Investigate the event and aim to avert subsequent infections
Lastly, don’t let your ransomware scare be forgotten about or brushed under the carpet. It’s better to learn from your mistakes, look at what you should have done differently, and put policies and tools in place to avoid future incidents of the same sort.
The worst thing you can do in the face of the threat of ransomware is to bury your head in the sand. Prevention is better than the cure, but inaction after infection is worse still, so don’t ignore this issue if you want your organization to survive it.