We’ve gotten so caught up discussing ransomware prevention with our clients that we’ve neglected to mention that several strains have already been defeated. In fact, there’s a decent chance you can actually decrypt all your data for free. Make sure to check these free resources before responding to a cyberattacker’s demands.
The state of ransomware in 2019
For businesses, the challenge of dealing with ransomware is both from outside and within. On the one hand, there are more cybercriminals trying to infiltrate your network. And thanks to an ever-increasing variety of social engineering scams, there are more internal staff members who are tricked into providing sensitive information or downloading malware.
The statistics are sobering. Ransomware cost businesses more than $75 billion per year. Over the past two years, ransomware attacks have increased by over 97%. And compared to 2017, this year’s ransomware from phishing emails increased by 109%.
According to studies, by 2021 there will be a ransomware attack targeting a business every 11 seconds. That is up from every 14 seconds in 2019, and every 40 seconds in 2016.
Zombie ransomware is easy to defeat
Not every type of infection is targeted to individual organizations. Some infections may result from self-propagating ransomware strains, while others may come from cyberattackers who are hoping targets become so scared that they pay up before doing any research on how dated the strain is and how to remove it.
No matter what the circumstances of your infection are, always check the following lists to see whether free decryption tools have been released to save you a world of hurt:
- Kaspersky Lab’s No Ransom list
- Avast’s free decryption tools
- Trend Micro’s Ransomware File Decryptor
- Heimdal Security’s Free Ransomware Decryption Tools
But even when you can get your data back for free, getting hit with malware is no walk in the park. There are essentially three basic approaches to prevent ransomware.
First, train your employees about what they should and shouldn’t open when browsing the web and checking email.
Second, back up your data as often as possible to quarantined storage. As long as access to your backed-up data is extremely limited and not directly connected to your network, you should be able to restore everything in case of an infection.
Finally, regularly update all your software solutions (operating systems, productivity software, and antivirus). Most big-name vendors are quick to patch vulnerabilities, and you’ll prevent a large portion of infections just by staying up to date.
Whether it’s dealing with an infection or preventing one, the best option is to always seek professional advice from seasoned IT technicians. It’s possible that you could decrypt your data with the tools listed above, but most ransomware strains destroy your data after a set time limit, and you may not be able to beat the clock. And even if you do, you probably won’t have the expertise to discern where your security was penetrated.
Don’t waste time fighting a never-ending stream of cyberattacks — hand it over to us and be done with it. Call us today to find out more.