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Ransomware Protection

What You Need To Know

Ransomware is malware that can attack any computer. It is a costly computer security threat that is becoming more prevalent in today’s world. This harmful software can easily download on any computer, and is difficult – if not impossible to remove – unless a crack is created. Ransomware has cost companies millions of dollars in lost data and paid ransoms. Because the threat of data lost to ransomware is so real, and there is nothing that can be done about it after the fact, both ransomware protection and education provided by a local, trusted internet security services company is essential to avoid becoming a victim.

How Ransomware Works

Ransomware takes a computer or network “hostage,” by stealthily downloading malware onto the system, then encrypting the files and operating systems on the afflicted computers. The program demands the payment of a ransom in order to receive a key to unlock the system and retrieve the data that has been encrypted.

Preventing Randomware Attacks

Once a computer has been affected by ransomware, unless there is a known removal tool for the program (and in most cases there is not), getting that data back may be impossible. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that an encryption key will actually be provided, so the best recommendation is to take steps, such as the following, to avoid falling victim:
  • Always Backup Data – The best computer security comes from frequent backups, and storing data offsite – such as on a cloud server. Additionally, frequent system backups should be done to create system restore points, which can always be used to bring a computer back to a certain point before the malware attack occurred.

  • Filter All Email – Ensure that email programs are scanning for malicious files, and set them to filter any kind of .exe file to prevent accidental downloading without a warning first.

  • Show File Extensions – Ransom and other malware are typically downloaded from emails in the form of an .exe file, or another executable file format. By always showing file extensions, these files can be more easily detected – making it easier to avoid accidentally downloading them.

  • Use Current Security Software – All computers should be protected by current antivirus and antimalware software that is regularly updated. Professional internet security services assert that there are programs available today which specifically address ransomware protection, and prevent ransomware from damaging computers.

  • Keep All Software Up to Date – All programs should be updated as soon updates are released, since a company typically improves their software as security and other issues are discovered. Also, be sure to install all patches that are released, and only use legitimate, licensed software to gain this protection and ensure computer security.

  • Practice Safe Internet Use – Educating all employees on what ransomware is, how it is usually downloaded, and how to avoid accidentally downloading these and other malicious programs is essential! Safer web habits, including how to recognize a suspicious file or website, is important for avoiding attacks.

  • Act Immediately If An Attack Is Suspected – In the event a suspicious file has been downloaded or installed, if a company acts immediately, it may be possible to avoid a full-blown attack. Disconnect the affected computer from the network or WiFi to possibly interrupt communication with the host that created the file and – hopefully stopping the encryption process. This may or may not help. Therefore, this is something that should only be used as a last ditch effort if a suspicious file has already begun to download.

Ransomware protection is something every company must take seriously since the results of a ransomware attack can be devastating. Entire businesses have been brought to a standstill after having their vital data encrypted by malicious programs, demanding huge sums of money. Avoid falling victim to ransomware with a good computer security plan, put into place and monitored by trusted, local internet security services!

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