Ransomware today is among the greatest threats to your data privacy and security. As per cybersecurity ventures, this damage has been increasing considerably over time. The global ransomware damage in 2017 was recorded to be worth $5 billion, and these numbers have never stopped growing since then. The worst part is it can enter into your system in various forms like infected applications, malicious links, malvertising, or through infected websites as well. And the damage made can sometimes get beyond imagination.
Although it is quite a heft task to identify ransomware since it appears in so many forms, nowadays, we have many reliable solutions to do the hard shift for us. In this article, we will see some of the most effective ways or solutions to protect against ransomware. But before we jump to conclusions, let us first understand what ransomware is and how it operates.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a typical type of malware that employs encryption on a person’s or organization’s data and holds it as a hostage until they pay the ransom for it. They can infect any type of file, be it some documents, pictures, videos, or anything.
To put it simply, ransomware encrypts all your data and locks you out of your operating system. You cannot gain access to your own system. It further spreads to other computers or devices within the same network.
What’s more painful is that you will get much lesser time to pay the ransom, or you will lose all your data permanently. And once you are infected by ransomware, it’s already too late to look for a way out. So, if you want to avoid getting into such a situation and keep your data protected, keep reading till the end.
How To Protect Against Ransomware?
If you want to protect your system and data from any sudden ransomware attack, then you have to do the following things:
1. Backup your data daily
Ransomware attacks are almost unpredictable, and things may happen all of a sudden. Therefore, the best solution is to back up your data. Now, there are certain measures you should follow while backing up data to ensure the ultimate protection.
Firstly, it is important to know that ransomware can even infiltrate your backup files and encrypt them as well. So, if you are not backing up your files and data in the proper way and proper place, you might end losing everything.
You can back up all your data to the clouds and make sure the server is safe even if you are attacked by ransomware. Or else backup data in local storage or external drive which is not directly in contact with the infected system.
Secondly, make sure to back up almost every day to lose even the recent data in case of an attack. This way, you can rest easy even if you receive threats to pay the ransom or lose your data. After all, you can get back all your data from the backup file.
2. Install a reliable antivirus
An antivirus firewall certainly becomes necessary if you want to protect your system from various malware or ransomware. Although none of the antiviruses can guarantee your absolute security, they still play a big part in keeping your computer and data protected. There are already a ton of antiviruses available on the market. Choose a lightweight antivirus that doesn’t bloat your system and also fits your budget.
A free antivirus may look beneficial initially, but they lack the essential features, and most of them come with the scanning feature only. Ransomware is smart enough to infiltrate your system and encrypt your files without your consent. A free antivirus firewall stands no chance in front of it. Hence, it is better to go for the premium versions if you are concerned about your security.
If you are looking for lightweight but effective antivirus software, BitDefender Antivirus Plus is one of the top choices considering overall protection. Likewise, if you want one to operate on multiple devices, Mcafee Antivirus Plus comes into play. Select one that fits your requirements well and does a reliable job in providing you with security.
3. Put in Security Patches to your applications
Attackers usually look for vulnerabilities in your applications and enter through some backdoor. The third-party applications that you install on your computer may have certain vulnerabilities that act like the hacker’s path to enter your system.
Therefore, patching all your applications will address any new security vulnerabilities and prevent your system from hacker attacks.
4. Go for a Disaster Recovery Plan
If you are running an organization, you might get into a critical situation once you are attacked by ransomware. In such an emergency, a Disaster Recovery Plan sounds like the best solution for that moment. It will prevent the spread of ransomware to your network, and you can still save a big amount of your data from getting infected.
To apply a Disaster Recovery Plan for a sudden ransomware attack, follow the steps below:
- Immediately shut down a greater portion of your organization’s network.
- Shut down other wireless transmissions such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections.
- Inform the CyberSecurity authorities.
- Lastly, based on your situation, choose from either paying the ransom to the attackers or denying the proposal and deleting all the infected files and restoring them from your backup.
This is probably the safest way to deal with a ransomware attack if you are running a wide network. By going for a DRP, you can minimize the risk of losing your entire data and ensure the safeguard of the network.