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Anti Ransomware Systems

The premise behind ransomware (a form of malware) is pretty clear: Conducting locking and encrypting your computer and device data and then demanding a ransom from you to restore access.

In the majority of cases, the victim must make payment of ransom to the cybercriminal within a stipulated time or run the risk of losing access forever. Since cyberthieves mount malware attacks, sometimes you may be cheated when even after payment of ransom, access to your data or device will not be restored.

Ransomware renders your personal files held in hostage, ceasing access to financial information, photos, and personal or official documents. Such files are stored on your computer, but the ransomware will have encrypted your device, making inaccessible the data on your mobile phone or computer.

Though the idea behind ransomware is simple, the efforts to fight back when you are a victim of ransomware are highly complicated. Also, if attackers don’t provide the decryption key, you may not be able to recoup access to your device or data forever.

Knowing the kinds of ransomware, besides some dos and don’ts with regard to such malware attacks, can help you combat ransomware in an effective way.

Vulnerable targets

There are several factors that render you an easy target for ransomware attacks. These include:

  • Your device is no longer cutting edge
  • The device features outdated software
  • There is no more patching of operating systems and browsers
  • Lack of proper backup of data
  • Inadequate attention to cybersecurity

In case one of these points apply to your case, you are at risk from a ransomware attack. Cybercriminals also go after targets that are likely to pay more or faster ransom, such as:

  • Groups with a small security team

Universities belong to this category since they have high file sharing, but less security

  • Groups that will pay quickly 

Medical facilities, banks, government agencies, and similar entities comprise these groups since they require instant access to their files and are more willing to pay up ransomware quickly to gain restored access.

  • Firms with sensitive data

Organizations like law firms and security agencies may be targeted since cybercriminals depend on legal controversies, which could emerge in case data held for ransom is leaked.

  • Western market businesses

The popular target of cybercriminals is corporate who are capable of large pay-outs. This includes companies in wealthy nations like the UK, USA, Canada, etc., which have high use of computer systems.

Protective measures against ransomware

Anti Ransomware Protection Systems

  • Avoid clicking on unsafe links

Never click on links in spam messages or websites of unknown nature. When you click on malicious links, it could start automatic downloads, leading to infection of your computer.

  • Do not provide personal information

In case you get an e-mail, text message, or call from an untrustworthy source requesting your personal information, never replies. It is likely that cybercriminals planning a ransomware attack may attempt to gain personal information in advance, which may be then used to create phishing messages, particularly in your case. You should contact the sender directly to ascertain if the message is authentic.

  • Avoid opening suspicious e-mails

Ransomware attacks your device through covert e-mail attachments. So, always avoid opening attachments that seem dubious. To ensure whether the e-mail is trustworthy, pay keen attention to the sender and check if the address is genuine. Steer clear of attachments that encourage you to run macros to view them. If the attachment happens to be infected, it will operate a malicious macro that provides malware control over your computer.

  • Don’t use random USB sticks

Avoid using pen drives and other storage media whose source and identity are unknown. Such media may have been infected by cybercriminals and planted by them in public places, tempting unsuspecting persons to use them.

  • Updating of operating systems

Regular updating of your operating systems can help much in preventing malware infestation.

  • Use only familiar downloads

For preventing ransomware infestation, never download media files or software from unknown sites. You must rely only on trustworthy and verified sites for download.

  • Use VPN on Public Wi fi networks

Careful use of public Wi-Fi networks helps to avoid ransomware. To stay secure, only use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) to complete sensitive transactions.

Benefits of anti-ransomware software

Anti Ransomware Protection

Apart from the above prevention measures, it is also vital to use suitable software for protection against ransomware. For instance, using content filters and virus scanners on your mail servers is a smart way to prevent ransomware. Such programs reduce the risk of spam containing infected links or malicious attachments reaching your mailbox.

You can also install internet security software. Such software has the capacity to block infected files when you stream or download anything, thus offering protection in real-time. This prevents ransomware from infecting your computer and thwarts the efforts of cybercriminals.

Some companies offer special anti-ransomware tools. These tools help detect and block ransomware by conducting scans and protecting data from ransomware attacks from local or remote access sources.

In case you have installed the suitable software, you have made strides in the right direction. You must regularly update your software for internet security to benefit from its latest protective features. Every update features the latest patches of security and enhances protection against ransomware.

Creating backups

Ensure that your data is always supported by backups in case your computer suffers a ransomware attack, and it is impossible to conduct decryption. You can use an external hard drive and take care to disconnect it from the computer after the creation of a backup. This is because if the backup is connected to the computer during a ransomware attack, the data on the backup may also be encrypted. Backups should also be conducted at regular intervals.

Removal of ransomware

In case your computer has become infected with ransomware, you will be required to regain control over your device.

For a machine run on Windows 10, the following steps are recommended:

  • Rebooting Windows 10 to safe mode
  • Installing anti-malware software
  • Scanning the system to locate ransomware program
  • Restoring the computer to the previous state

Note that such tips will help in removing malware from the computer and restore it to your control, but it cannot decrypt your files. It is mathematically impossible to decrypt the system without access to the key held by the cybercriminal. So, ultimately, you have to work with your adversary, and always, prevention is better than cure in this scenario.

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