In 2021 alone, there were 10 massive ransomware cases that cost businesses millions of dollars in losses.

Are you going to allow yourself to fall victim to cybercriminals and be a statistic?

Then get the services of a cyber security consulting company that has the expertise to handle ransomware and other cyber threats present in the world today. This ensures your business is safe from attacks and if disaster does strike, you’ll be able to get back up and running with minimal downtime.

Since we’re here anyway, let’s get to know more about ransomware and other cyber threats present out there today.

So, what is ransomware and why is it so dangerous?

Ransomware Defined

Ransomware belongs to the malware (or malicious software) group. What it does is encrypt the victim’s information making it inaccessible to the owner unless the cybercriminal releases it from his grip. This usually entails payment of some sort before the data is released from encryption.

Ransomware is designed to be small, unobtrusive, and is often deployed in a variety of ways similar to other malware. The end goal is to gain access to a user’s network and then hold it captive for ransom.

Ransomware, when deployed over vast networks or databases owned by organizations can generate billions of dollars in payments. Usually, we don’t hear about it because most organizations or victims prefer to remain mum on the matter especially if a sizeable sum of money is involved.

How Does it Work?

Ransomware, in layman’s terms, works in this manner: you’ll need a pair of keys to open and close the doors. In this case, the doors lead into your data.

The problem here is this: you don’t have possession of both keys. The cybercriminal does.

Without the proper key to unlock it, you’re faced with a door that won’t open no matter how hard you try to push or pull it. Should you succeed in damaging the door, all the contents on the other side, are damaged.

In cyber speak, this is known as asymmetric cryptography.

The only way to get your data back is to get the proper key from the cybercriminal. This usually comes at a price.

Oh No! You’ve Fallen Victim to a Ransomware Attack! What Do You Do?

Don’t panic.

Do you have a backup of your data?

Do you mind losing what the cybercriminal has in his possession?

Unless of course, you have a backup of your data and won’t mind losing what they’ve taken possession of, there’s not much a cybercriminal can threaten you with.

If you do have a backup or a restore point, then good for you. All you have to do at this point is strengthen your security and restart where you left off.

So, before you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, back your data up. Next, secure those backups and keep them updated regularly. You don’t want a restore point that’s decades old. Use reliable antivirus software to further strengthen your security.

Use a secure network when going online and never click or open anything that’s suspicious. In fact, run everything through an antivirus scan before you accept. If it must be said, don’t visit sites that have dubious reputations or aren’t work-related.

Last but not least, keep yourself informed at all times about the dangers that are out there.

Or, better yet, hire a cyber security consulting company to protect you from cyber threats of all shapes and sizes.

Here Are Some More Things You Can Do:

If you’ve fallen victim to a ransomware attack, the actions you do right after the realization dictates the cybercriminals’ success. The key to getting out of this situation is acting in a timely manner and by employing the proper actions.

Stop The Spread

Ransomware moves quickly from one device to the next. Disconnect all affected devices that are acting suspiciously and determine which one is considered as the source of the infection. Disconnect in this regard includes physical and virtual disconnection. Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi and unplug devices connected to the server.

Once the source is identified, isolate it and assess the value of resolving the issue by troubleshooting or initializing decryption processes or simply cleaning the slate clean and starting over. There are sites out there that can provide you with a decryption key so that you won’t need to pay the ransom.

Identify the Ransomware and File a Report

Ransomware is so pervasive today and causes a lot of damage. It is also a criminal act. The moment you identify the ransomware used on you, report it to the authorities so that they have a record of the illegal activity. Hopefully, they’ll be able to track down the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

At the very least, you’ll be adding more info to their database that will make their search easier in the future.

Wipe the Slate Clean and Deploy Your Backups

At this point, there’s nothing you can do. The attacks happened and you either find a proper decryption key to get your data back or wipe the slate clean, start over, and deploy your backup.

It would help if you hire a cyber security consulting company to protect your business from future attacks.

So, look into getting the services of one and move on.

Whatever Happens, Don’t Pay the Ransom

Sure, it’s easy for someone like me to say who has all these failsafe methods and practices in place but that’s really the main reason why I can confidently tell you not to pay the ransom. It’s going to be very tempting to go ahead and pay these criminals off just so you can get your data back.

A lot of victims have done that in the past.

But what happens in the future?

Now they know you’re someone who’s willing to pay at the slightest hint of an inconvenience. And what’s going to stop them from withholding the decryption key once they get the money? Are you going to trust the word of a criminal to honor an agreement once you’ve settled on your end?

Paying these cybercriminals just emboldens them to do the same thing to people over and over. It creates a vicious cycle of getting preyed upon by unscrupulous characters. It rewards ransomware attackers to continue their dastardly deeds.

Whatever happens, don’t pay the ransom.

Protect Yourself from Ransomware Attacks, Get a Cyber Security Consulting Company

Cyber security consulting companies help people like you and me. They have the tools and the expertise to lay a protective shield around your network.

They can also educate everyone in your organization about the best practices to prevent ransomware attacks.

Last but not the least, they can keep an eye out for you to prevent future attacks from happening or provide quick resolutions to emergent issues.

They don’t just handle ransomware threats; they handle everything that falls under the very definition of a cyber security threat or risk and set into motion events that would secure your business.

If you want to learn more about ransomware and cyber security consulting companies, send us an email or give us a call and we’ll happily attend to your needs.