“Ransomware is not only about weaponizing encryption, its more about bridging the fractures in the mind with a weaponized message that demands a response from the victim.”
- James Scott, Senior Fellow, Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology
Businesses can reduce their vulnerability if they know how to prevent ransomware. While this type of malware does not draw much attention, it can be much more devastating than other types of malware. As ransomware attacks are sophisticated in nature, many larger financial organizations have their own call centers for handling these types of data breaches.
Ransomware contributes to 10% of all breaches, but it doubled its frequency in 2021.
37% of global organizations are victims of ransomware attacks.
According to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, 14 of the 16 U.S. critical infrastructure sectors faced ransomware attacks in February 2022.
There are more than 130 different ransomware strains detected.
Ransomware usually stops the user from using the system, programs, or files. Hackers ask you to pay a ransom to regain control of the PC. You may have to pay to avoid losing everything.
As backups may not provide complete protection against ransomware attacks, this malware is considered essential. It shows the importance of depending upon a professional security service.
Read the article to know more about how to detect and prevent potential data breaches
through ransomware effectively.
How to Detect Ransomware Attacks
It is hard for traditional antivirus software to detect ransomware because this advanced malware uses a set of complex evasion techniques. Therefore, it has become essential to educate yourself and your employees on ways to detect ransomware before it damages data in your system.
Ransomware creators apply advanced social engineering tricks and military-grade encryption algorithms to take control of your system and encrypt your data. Unfortunately, it becomes difficult to recognize which files are infected as the ransomware can scramble files.
In 2018, 180,000 users globally had been infected with ransomware. Due to the increasing number of ransomware attacks, it has become imperative to know how to detect and prevent ransomware attacks in time. Below are some of the tips on how to detect ransomware.
Through a similar-looking email account, ransomware creators send malicious emails. For example, they use capital letters instead of the small letters in the original email ID. So, it is important to learn how to spot ransomware by paying close attention to the email addresses.
Another thing is to check the content of the email thoroughly, especially if it has sensitive information. Modern ransomware creators are so sophisticated that they even cleverly imitate emails and even the writing voice of the institution or person. Do not do anything suggested in the mail content if you sense anything strange. The best thing to do is to call the person or organization involved to check the email's authenticity.
If you doubt the authenticity of the email, do not click on the links in the email immediately. Closely assessing the email can give you hints as to whether the email is genuine or not. In addition, you can check for unusual domains and spelling errors in the email.
Another effective way to detect ransomware is to be careful while downloading attachments. Ransomware creators hide it in an encrypted zip file. You won’t be able to see the malicious file encrypted until you extract it from the file.
Tips to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
Avoid Providing Personal Data to Unknown
Do not give out personal information if you receive a call, text, or email from an unknown source asking for it. Before a ransomware attack, there is a possibility that cybercriminals may try to obtain personal information. This information can be used to target individuals personally through phishing emails.
The goal is to get you to open a malicious attachment or link. Permitting the perpetrators to access data to make their trap more plausible is not a good idea. If a corporation contacts you for information, ignore the request and contact the company on your own to confirm that it is legitimate.
Get Security Software Assistance
As cybercrime increases it becomes essential to have ransomware protection. Use a comprehensive internet security solution
like Kaspersky Internet Security to protect your PC from ransomware.
Software stops corrupted files from being downloaded or streamed, preventing ransomware from getting into your system and keeping hackers away.
Back up your data
It is always a good idea to keep a backup of your data. In case you are hit by ransomware, you will know that your data is safe. Keep everything on a hard drive, but don't leave it attached to your computer while you're not using it. Leaving the hard drive attached to your system can compromise the data if you become a victim of ransomware
. The data inside the hard drive can get encrypted.
With cloud storage solutions, you can also go back to previous versions of your files. As a result, if ransomware encrypts them, you should be able to restore an unencrypted version using cloud storage.
Click Only on Verified Links
Clicking links on unfamiliar websites or in spam emails should be avoided. One way for your computer to become infected is through downloads that begin when you click on malicious links.
When ransomware infects your computer, it either encrypts your files or locks down your operating system. Once the ransomware has anything to hold as a 'hostage,' it will demand to unlock your files. The simplest solution is to pay the ransoms. However, this is what the criminal wants you to do, and paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will be able to access your device or data.
Do Not Download Software from Unknown Websites
To make sure that you do not get ransomware, don’t download software or media assets from unknown websites.
If you want to download something, go to a site that has been verified and is reputable. Most reputable websites will have trust indicators that you can spot. For example, type “https” into the search field to see if the site uses “https” rather than “http”. A shield or lock symbol may appear in the address bar, to confirm that the site is secure.
If it’s something that you want to download for your phone, be sure it's from a trusted source. For example, Android users should download apps from the Google Play Store, while iPhone users should go to the App Store.
What to Do in Case You Have Become a Victim of Ransomware
What if you've already been under a ransomware attack and you are unaware of it?
It's critical to know what to do in the event of a ransomware attack. Here are some easy steps that may help reduce damage to some extent.
If you're hit by ransomware, the first thing you should do is disconnect from all networks and the internet. By disconnecting, you isolate your computer and limit the ransomware virus from spreading to other devices.
It's advisable to consult a cybersecurity professional before paying ransom to cybercriminals. They will learn the situation and advice you to act accordingly.
Ransomware is difficult to detect and defend against. Organizations, on the other hand, can take steps to protect their systems and sensitive data
by taking necessary precautions. The first thing to do is to educate employees about common red flags and vulnerabilities, set up processes and procedures for preventative monitoring, and install anti-ransomware software and tools.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does ransomware work?
Ransomware encrypts files on a computer and prevents the user or organization from accessing them. This malware encrypts files and demands a ransom for the decryption key. This puts businesses in a situation where paying the ransom is the most convenient way for them to get back the data.
Is it possible to remove ransomware?
Robust cybersecurity software can be used to decrypt ransomware files. A cybersecurity specialist should assist you at every step of the ransomware eradication process with the ransomware removal tool. However, retrieving all the files may not always be possible.
Is it possible to detect ransomware?
Ransomware can be identified at the network level by checking for unusual traffic patterns. This can signal a ransomware infestation or malware in general.