Ransomware Attacks: Everything About, And How to Prevent It

Designed to entirely encrypt a victim’s file system, potentially causing the stored data to irreversible loss of their stored data, ransomware has been terrorizing computers all across the globe for many years — ever since the first trojan debuted somewhere in May 2005.

Over time, however, poorly built and infirm trojans evolved into incredibly sophisticated, spiteful, and compelling tools of digital extortion that today are associated with tremendous financial losses, which can average $13.000 per attack. Meanwhile, the value keeps increasing to millions of dollars demanded to decrypt the seized data.

1. 2020: Discouraging Security Statistics

The boom of ransomware activity seemed to have peaked by 2018 — with the highest ransom that the company had paid out for its clients, reaching $930,000. But numerous security reports of past 24 months prove that ransomware — mostly due to the ease of implementation and high return on investment — continues to be an extremely lucrative craft for the rising number of cybercriminals.

What exacerbates the situation is a poor understanding of the ways ransomware infection find its way to the root files. Take a look at these few most recent statistics:

  • Barracuda: 47 percent of businesses have been affected by ransomware.
  • Datto: Ransomware is costing businesses more than $75 billion per year.
  • Malwarebytes: Over 40 percent of victims paid the ransom.

All the above reinforced with the global predictions assuming damages to cost up to $6 trillion annually by 2021, meaning this all-too-real threat will only proceed to grow, making businesses, individuals, and government agencies worldwide waste their money.

2. Protect Your Data from Ransomware Attacks

The process of decrypting files encrypted with ransomware itself is an unusually complicated and challenging thing to perform. Moreover, most ransomware these days use RSA or AES encryption methods, both of which are incredibly difficult to crack. That implies prevention is better than cure: never allowing ransomware to get into your system is the best thing you can do to fight it. Other than that, yet there is no other way to protect your information from an advanced attack securely.

However, do not rush to despair! There are a few prevention measures that can help you not to join the number of unfortunate incidents, and avert data loss due to ransomware — or, at least, crucially reduce the costs of it.

a) Invest in efficient antivirus software.

We know it can be inexpressibly hard to part with money, which is exceptionally fair for small companies or businesses on a tight budget. But the truth is just a virus cleaner won’t be enough to safeguard your system from potential ways of infecting. What you need is software that will actively monitor your order in real-time, alerting you to threats like malware, spyware, and trojans, and tracking suspicious activity. Keep in mind that it should include control over what you do in web browsers: that way, you’ll be redirected away from malicious websites where ransomware may be hosted, and get notifications for dubious links.

b) Shell out for a reliable data backup

When it comes to protecting your data, good ol’ backup remains the most effective and reliable means to resort to. In the event you get attacked by ransomware, regardless of the type you encounter, all of your crucial information will still be available, meaning a significant reduction of costs to rebuilding it if needed.

Then, even if something happens to your physical copies, you will still be able to retrieve your data safely and in full — with the help of a reputable, highly-qualified team of technicians. Salvagedata recovery lab should be first you’ll think of once that happens: with 96% rate of successfully solved cases, it remains the most trusted name in the field of data recovery — and the experience gained over a decade of practice is the reason their experts can help you to restore unrestorable. Psst: free consultation and examination quotes are included.

b) Protect network-connected computers

Some ransomware can actively scan networks, attacking any connected computers that allow remote access. To avoid unauthorized admission, make sure all of the computers with remote access on your network either use secure and robust protection methods or have it disabled.

c) Never follow suspicious links

According to Malwarebytes’ report, nearly 60 percent of ransomware attacks are performed via email as embedded URLs. This may sound silly, but once you make it a habit to avoid opening doubtful files and clicking on suspicious links, you significantly lower the risk of downloading ransomware (or any other malware) onto your computer.

d) Keep the software up to date

Detection capabilities and overall efficiency of antivirus software are directly dependent on the relevance of its virus databases. Remember to check the software regularly for available updates to be sure it is functioning correctly — as it was said previously, the best thing you can do is not to allow ransomware to reach your system files.

In addition to that, updates, as a rule, have patches for the security vulnerabilities applications may have. Updating software on your system promptly will help you lower the risk of susceptibility to ransomware as it usually uses those vulnerabilities to gain access to system files.

3. How to Save Encrypted Data

In some cases, you could try to decrypt vital files yourself and succeed. For instance, if you face a lock-screen virus (also known as scareware), you may decide to get rid of it by scanning your computer with a reputable on-demand malware cleaner, and then restoring your system to a point before the scary messages began popping up. But with scareware being not all that common these days, other types of threats will be a nut way too hard to crack for you.

The main thing to remember: transferring your money to a malefactor should be the last thing to consider. Plenty of studies reported instances where no decryption tool was delivered after payment — which means you may end up with no money and no data at all. So, even if data recovery seems pricey, it will still cost you smaller amounts than the side of cybercrime gets in case you agree to pay.

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