What to Do in the Face of a Ransomware Attack

Suffering a ransomware attack is one of many businesses’ worst fears. Paying the attacker’s ransom can cost you a huge amount of cash, while not paying the ransom can lead to data loss.

This means that ransomware is, frankly, a terrifying threat to businesses. Prevention is better than cure: regular backups mean that you can wipe the machines and restore order.

If you don’t have backups, what can you do? In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how to protect your computer and network from ransomware. Read on and find out more!

1. Isolation Is Key

A ransomware attack is pretty easy to spot. When you boot up your machine, is it asking for a ransom and telling you that your files are encrypted? Bingo: you’ve been attacked.

When you’ve been attacked, you need to act fast. The ransomware will spread across your network if you don’t isolate the machine immediately.

Unplug any ethernet cables from the infected machine and turn off the computer’s wi-fi.  If there are any memory sticks or other storage media in the PC, remove these and do not insert them into any other computers.

2. Tell Your IT Department

If you have an IT department, let them know that you’ve been infected. They may be able to plan ahead to prevent other machines from getting infected and can also test your business’ security to see how the infection happened.

Don’t worry about getting in trouble: accidents happen to the best of us, and if you let the infection spread, that could land you in hot water.

3. Change Your Passwords

If the ransomware has cracked your admin password, it could compromise every system on the network. Changing the admin password is essential and can stop it in its tracks.

If any other employees also have admin privileges, they will also need to change their passwords.

4. Tell Relevant Authorities

You need to let relevant authorities know that you’ve been attacked, as this can help mitigate the effects of a data breach. If you don’t tell them in time, you could be in for a hefty fine. If the ransomware leaves your company unscathed, the fine won’t.

You should check legislation to see the reporting timescales so that you can make sure you report the attack on time.

5. Wipe the Machines and Restore Backups

As irritating as it can be to be out of business for a few days, it’s better than being out of business permanently. Take the time to wipe all the data off your machines and then restoring from your company’s off-site backups.

If you don’t have backups, then you’re going to be in a very difficult situation. Hopefully, you can restore the company data from another source.

A Ransomware Attack Is Manageable

As scary as they are, ransomware attacks are manageable. If you have backups, your business will only be affected for hours or days, which is much better than paying the ransom. You should never pay the ransom, as it funds cybercrime and doesn’t always restore your files anyway.

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