Ransomware Remediation for Comprehensive Protection
Ransomware attacks have become very common these days; organizations big and small, as well as individuals, are getting targeted. Cybercriminals are doing brisk business and making big money out of ransomware strikes.
The FBI had, in its Internet Crime Report for 2017, stated that it had “…received 1,783 complaints identified as ransomware with adjusted losses of over $2.3 million”
Many organizations across the world have had to suffer great financial losses as a result of ransomware attacks. Businesses, once they are hit by ransomware strikes, have to invest in retrieving lost data and also in new security solutions so as to prevent further attacks.
Things are changing
In the world of ransomware attacks, things are changing fast. Ransomware, which encrypts all data and files in the infected system and then demands a ransom for decrypting the same, is changing with the times. The ransomware of today happens to be much more sophisticated compared to the traditional ransomware; ransomware is now offered to criminals as a service (RaaS).
The ransom involved too has gone up. There was a time when regardless of the number of file types encrypted, the average ransom demanded would be around $500 dollars. But now with RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service) being a trend, the cybercriminals who get to buy the ransomware online can customize the ransom note depending on the type of encrypted files and the profile of the victim.
An example is the GandCrab family of ransomware, which demands ransom ranging up to $700,000 for data decryption.
Protection is always possible!
Well, as ransomware get more and more sophisticated, security professionals work day and night to devise protection strategies and tools that could help potential victims prevent ransomware attacks or recover data if they get attacked, without having to pay the ransom.
Let’s remember that it is not easy for many security solutions to identify new and unknown samples as ransomware with utmost precision. This is because ransomware, though it’s considered malware, is characterized by what we call polymorphism. Each sample is thus unique for each victim, and hence conventional detection procedures might not work for ransomware. Ransomware would easily bypass security solutions, which work with multiple security layers, all augmented by machine learning algorithms as well as behavior-based detection technologies. Today security firms are coming up with advanced versions of security software that would detect and prevent ransomware and thereby help minimize damages that businesses suffer due to ransomware strikes.
The most important thing, when it comes to protecting systems, networks and businesses from ransomware, is ransomware remediation. This helps ensure that all data gets protected whenever there is an attack. Users can manage to instantly recover all their data- documents, pictures, videos etc- whenever there is a ransomware attack and it goes undetected by security programs. Ransomware remediation includes backing up of all important files and presenting users with a restore option in case all files get encrypted. The files can be restored either to their original locations or in a different one if needed.
Another strategy that works remarkably well is setting up special folders to ensure that no ransomware would touch a file placed in these folders. These special folders would constantly be under surveillance using advanced security technologies. No unknown, unauthorized applications or malware would be allowed into these protected folders and thus the files would be protected.
Basic prevention strategies…
There are some basic prevention strategies that can be adopted by any business and which would help prevent ransomware strikes or losses to a great extent. These include:
• Performing regular backups of all critical files.
• Ensuring that all software and your OS are up to date, with the latest security updates and patches applied.
• Refraining from opening email attachments or clicking on links that are suspicious.
• Having necessary multi-layered security solutions installed.
• Educating, training users as regards security and security measures to be adopted.
Kevin Jones951 Posts
Kevin Jones, Ph.D., is a research associate and a Cyber Security Author with experience in Penetration Testing, Vulnerability Assessments, Monitoring solutions, Surveillance and Offensive technologies etc. Currently, he is a freelance writer on latest security news and other happenings. He has authored numerous articles and exploits which can be found on popular sites like hackercombat.com and others.