Ransomware 101: What is Ransomware and How to Prevent it

May 22, 2023


In today’s digital era, cyber threats have become a major concern for businesses of all sizes. One of the most well-known online threats is ransomware.

As the threat of cyber attacks continues to rise, it’s crucial for companies, whether small business or large enterprise, to protect their data from ransomware attacks. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from what ransomware is and how it works to what to do in the event of an attack and, most importantly, how to prevent them from happening.

Robust Network Solutions has helped a wide range of businesses protect themselves against ransomware attacks. Continue reading below to learn everything you should know about ransomware and how Robust Network Solutions can help protect your business from cyber threats.

What is Ransomware and How Does It Work?

Cyberattacks, known as ransomware, encrypt data on vulnerable computers or networks and demand payment in exchange for the decryption key. In recent years, this kind of cyber attack has become more prevalent, with high-profile breaches affecting businesses and organizations worldwide.

Ransomware can spread rapidly through a network, making prevention measures crucial. Once it has access to a system, ransomware can quickly spread throughout an organization’s network, encrypting files and rendering them inaccessible until the ransom is paid.

Cybercriminals may also threaten to release sensitive information or delete critical data if payment isn’t made promptly. Often, payments are requested through untraceable cryptocurrency channels, making it harder for law enforcement, cybersecurity, and technology consulting firms to track down attackers and recover stolen data.

Some common methods cybercriminals use to spread ransomware include phishing emails and exploit kits. These tactics trick users into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected attachments.

The motives behind these attacks can vary, ranging from financial gain to cyber espionage. In recent years, the rise of ransomware attacks has resulted in devastating breaches that have affected thousands of businesses worldwide.

What to Do if You Experience a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attacks have become more common and sophisticated, making taking preventive measures against them increasingly necessary. If you experience a ransomware attack, acting quickly and effectively is crucial to minimize the impact.

By following these steps, you can take proactive measures toward protecting your business if you experience a ransomware attack.

Isolate the Infected System

Isolating the affected device is essential to stop ransomware from spreading further if your network or system has been compromised. This includes disconnecting the infected system from network access and cutting off all internet and network access to stop the ransomware from communicating with its command-and-control servers and will allow for easier recovery efforts and investigation into how the attack occurred.

Identify the Type of Ransomware

The next step is identifying the type of ransomware your system has been infected with. Some types of ransomware have known decryption keys or solutions available online, and knowing the kind of attack you’re dealing with could help find a solution.

Understand the Risks of Paying the Ransom

Before considering paying a ransom demand, it’s essential to understand the risks. If possible, avoid paying the ransom demanded by hackers after a ransomware attack. There’s no guarantee that paying will restore your files, and doing so only encourages cybercriminals to continue their attacks.

Report to Authorities and Cybersecurity Providers

If you experience a ransomware attack, report it immediately to law enforcement authorities and your cybersecurity provider. Doing so can help with investigations and prevent further attacks from occurring.

Consider Backup and Recovery Options

Keeping regular backups of crucial data in a secure offsite location is one of the best ways to defend against ransomware. Then, if an attack occurs, you can simply restore your data without paying ransom demands.

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks pose a threat to all businesses. By prioritizing these steps, you’ll be better equipped to protect yourself from ransomware attacks and minimize potential damage if one were to occur.

Train Employees to Recognize Ransomware

To prevent ransomware attacks, training employees to recognize suspicious emails or links that could contain malware is crucial. Consider conducting regular cybersecurity training sessions to keep your employees updated on ransomware risks and how to identify potential threats.

By creating guidelines for safe email and web browsing practices, you can help ensure that your team takes the necessary precautions to avoid falling victim to a ransomware attack. Additionally, it’s crucial to encourage employees to report any suspicious emails or activities as soon as possible so that action can be taken before it’s too late.

Backup Company Data

Backing up data regularly is another critical step in mitigating damage caused by a ransomware attack, as it allows restoring lost files without paying the ransom. Additionally, testing the restoration process periodically can guarantee data integrity and give you peace of mind knowing that your backup system is working effectively.

When backing up your data, it’s important to decide on a solution that works best for your needs. Whether through cloud solutions or external storage, make sure you have a system in place that is reliable and secure and ensure backups are automated and performed regularly so you don’t risk losing any sensitive or proprietary information.

Implement Strong Password Policies

Another preventative measure is implementing strong password policies and keeping software up-to-date to avoid vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit. By implementing strong password policies, you can significantly reduce the risk of a security breach in your business.

Some of these measures include:

  • Enforce password complexity requirements, such as length and special characters, to prevent hackers from easily guessing passwords.
  • Mandate periodic password changes and avoid reusing passwords across accounts to further strengthen your security measures.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication wherever possible for an added layer of protection against ransomware attacks.

Contact Professional Ransomware Cybersecurity Services

While these measures can significantly reduce the risk of a ransomware attack, contacting professional cybersecurity services provides your company with an added layer of protection. These experts can assess your business’s security needs and recommend customized solutions tailored to your situation, giving you peace of mind against potential threats.

By partnering with a reliable cybersecurity professional, you can benefit from specialized expertise such as remote monitoring, vulnerability assessments, and incident response planning.

Stay One Step Ahead of Ransomware with Robust Network Solutions

When protecting your business against the growing threat of ransomware attacks, relying solely on in-house security measures may not be enough.

Robust Network Solutions has the knowledge and experience to implement customized protection using multi-cloud and hybrid strategies that fit your unique needs. Whether you’re looking for email and data security, cybersecurity testing and intrusion prevention, device protection and management, or remote monitoring, we have you covered.

Contact Robust Network Solutions today or visit our blog to learn more about our cybersecurity services and how our team of IT professionals can leverage our expertise to keep your data secure and stop security breaches before they happen.