February 21, 2023
How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks? It’s a big question for those who have been active on Social Media Platforms for a long time & always afraid of getting caught in the trap of hackers worldwide. Due to information gathering and daily post uploads, organizations need professionals to handle the security of their data loads.
In this context, ransomware attacks also pay well to data collection. Adversaries always have their paws on various malicious software to attack websites, systems, and devices to collect information from those platforms.
How to know where to strengthen your security measures? For that, you can read this article. Let’s see what ransomware is and how you can protect yourself from them.
What is Ransomware?
It’s a kind of malicious application/ software that is specially customized for accessing data while encrypting it. Encryption will make the data inaccessible to authorized users, after which the hacker can ask for ransom payment to provide access again. It can be spread in several ways, such as
- Phishing Emails,
- Malicious Links,
- Or downloads from Untrusted Websites.
Now that you have understood what ransomware is, you need to know how many types of ransomware are available in the market. Via the types of ransomware, you’ll be able to get a way to avoid them as much as possible in a safer way. Let’s get into it!
Types of Ransomware
- Encrypting ransomware: Via this ransomware, attackers encrypt the files on a PC, and after encryption, they ask for ransom payment for the decryption key.
- Locker ransomware: In a case where locker ransomware gets involved, the authorized user won’t be able to access their systems/ data until they settle the case in payment with the adversary.
- Scareware: You might have noticed that sometimes when you want to download your desired content from an unsafe website, it shows a fake warning. Moreover, it gives security alerts to the user to scare them off, and the victim falls down to pay the ransom amount.
- DDoS ransomware: In this ransomware attack, the adversary uses a DDoS attack to overload a system/ network with fake traffic, which slows down the performance of the system or network. Ultimately, the victim has to pay a certain amount to get relief from that unusual traffic.
- RaaS(Ransomware-as-a-Service): Cyber Criminals offer this service to the adversary so they can launch ransomware campaigns without any technical knowledge. So, you can think of this as it’s unnecessary in every cybercrime case that a professional hacker will be involved.
- Doxware/ Leakware– It’s a kind of malware that threats the user to publicly upload their confidential data (If ransom doesn’t get paid). This ransomware targets high-value data related to the victims, such as
- Corporate Documents,
- Financial Records, and
- Customer Data
Top 10 Tips to Prevent Ransomware Attacks.
After knowing how many types of ransomware there are, we need to talk about how companies can prevent ransomware attacks plotted by hackers.
- Operation System & Software Update: You must ensure your software & OS are updated. That is to make sure they can prevent ransomware attacks. Regularity in patches deploying & updating systems supports securing the systems against the latest security threats.
- Suspicious Links & Emails: Adversaries mostly use phishing emails to spread ransomware. So, make sure to avoid suspicious emails/ links from unknown sources asap.
- Anti-Virus Installation: If you use antivirus software on your device, you’ll be able to prevent any ransomware attacks on your devices. How? That’s because it detects any malicious activity happening on your devices from any outside approach via any sources of spread. After detection, it can stop the activity by force stop. So you can prepare security measures in the time in the future.
- Data Backup: You can prepare a back for your data so that in case you get victimized by such attacks, you’ll be able to refuse the attacker to pay any ransom for the encrypted files. After that, recovery will be easy. Securing your backing in an external device would be a great idea to protect your data from being stolen.
- Strong Passwords: You might also know that the weaker you are, the stronger the enemy will be. As well as weak passwords become your system’s weakness in front of hackers. Weak passwords are easily guessable.
Cybercriminals can guess weak passwords with ease to gain access to your system/ devices. You should use a combo of the following things in password-making to secure your devices/ systems.
Uppercase and Lowercase Letters,
Symbols to create Strong Passwords.
6. Let the Macros Disable: Microsoft Office Doc often consists of macros. The macros are small programs used to run malicious codes. In order to get secured from ransomware attacks, you must disable macros in Microsoft Office files.
7. Firewall Installation: It’s a kind of network security system that can be used to keep surveillance and access incoming & outgoing traffic. Moreover, it also blocks unwanted malicious traffic & ransomware from entering the network/ system.
8. A Secure Web Browser: Un-updated web browsers can be more prone to cyber-attacks. Ensure the use of a safe browser and update it on a regular basis to the latest versions.
9. Disable remote access: It’s a kind of feature that facilitates users to connect to a system/ network from any location. Though it can be a convenient feature, it can also be a security threat. When not in use, ensure to disable the remote access
10. Educate Employees: An awareness program is a must for an employer so that their employees can know the risk of a ransomware attack and will be able to defend against it. After that, unwanted cyber security issues will start to reduce.
How to recover from a ransomware attack?
If you have been victimized by a ransomware attack, you should follow the below steps to recover from the fatal blow of a cyber attack.
- Isolate the affected network and systems: Disconnect the system/ network from the internet with immediate action at once. That is to prevent the ransomware from spreading to other connected devices.
- Identify the ransomware: Finding the origin of ransomware will help to know how it spreads across the network/ system.
- Backup your data: As we first discussed, your backup will help you not to be liable for paying any ransom amount.
- Remove the ransomware: Use security software to scan for the ransomware. Find it and remove it at once.
- Notify the Authorities: As soon as you get the right information on the ransomware origin, report it to the officials such as
- Law Enforcement
- Or the Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Change your passwords: After removing the ransomware, make changes in passwords on impacted systems.
- Implement security measures: Enhancing security measures will prevent future ransomware attacks. Some of the enhancements that you can make are
- Antivirus Software,
- Firewalls, and
- Security Policies.
Frequently Asked Questions
About the how to prevent ransomware attacks: top 10 tips to prevent ransomware
- What is the best protection against ransomware?
If you want to protect yourself from a ransomware attack, you can practice good cyber hygiene. This includes
- Update Software & OS regularly.
- Use reliable anti-virus software.
- Make Backups every day, and
- Avoid Phishing Emails and other Malicious Links.
Moreover, you can keep your security settings “ON” and use a firewall.
- Who Are Most At Risk Of A Ransomware Attack?
Well, for a general answer, everyone is in danger if there’s a ransomware attack. Anyone using a system or having access to confidential is at heavy risk.
However, those who are most at risk are organizations, such as small businesses, government agencies, healthcare providers, educational institutions, and financial institutions.
These organizations often have large amounts of valuable data and lack the resources to properly protect it, making them prime targets for ransomware attacks.
- What should I do if I become a victim of a ransomware attack?
If you want to resolve the issue without any issues, you can follow the following terms.
- Cut down the internet supply and disconnect your devices.
- Contacting cybersecurity experts for assistance would be great.
- Don’t ever pay any ransom amount to the hacker, cuz; there is no guarantee you’ll get your access back.
- A backup will pay you back if you get victimized by any attack. Make sure you get off the trap of the virus asap.
- In case you can’t restore your encrypted data, get in touch with Law Enforcement.
4. How Do You Prevent Ransomware Attacks?
To protect yourself from ransomware attacks, you can follow the steps below.
- Keep your operating system, software, and antivirus programs up-to-date.
- Regularly back up your data.
- Be careful when opening email attachments or clicking links in emails.
- Use a firewall to protect your network.
- Use a reputable antivirus program.
- Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
- Be cautious when downloading files from the internet.
- Be aware of phishing attacks.
- Disable macros in Office documents.
- Don’t click on suspicious links or pop-ups.
- What causes ransomware?
Ransomware is usually deployed in victims’ devices without their consent via malware. There are several ways via which ransomware can spread. Some of them are as follows
- malicious links in emails,
- downloads from untrusted sources, or
- vulnerabilities in outdated software.
Once the ransomware has been installed in one’s device, it can encrypt files on the users’ systems. AfterJJ that, the adversary can ask for a ransom amount to restore access.
- How do ransomware prevention software and services work?
Such software and services work in a very systematic way in which they observe a network for suspicious activity. They use several techniques to detect & block malicious files and codes from running.
Such techniques involve various steps.
- Behavioral Analysis,
- Signature-Based Detection,
- Sandboxing, and
- Heuristic Analysis.
Cyber Security Professionals use such software to encrypt files and to get alerts for any suspicious activity. Moreover, this software automatically detects the online threat and blocks malicious codes from executing/deleting files.