Cybercrimes have increased over the past few years, or we can say that they are mushrooming everywhere that costs many of the big companies quite a heavy price. Many of the latest sources reveal that the infringement with the data online costs nearly $10 trillion in 2021 with cyber-attacks which have increased three times since 2015. Meanwhile, with the increasing threat of these crimes, the damage is going to increase with the period of time. With the spreading internet connectivity all around the world, we have allowed most cyber intruders to get away with our precious data.
The last worldwide ransomware attack in 2017 by the WannaCry ransomware worm made the largest hit. They stole a lot of coded data from more than millions of systems working with Microsoft windows & affected globally. The whole payment was demanded in terms of Bitcoin.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is one of the active or destructive variant malware that locks up all the important files located on your personal devices in the form of encrypted data. Meanwhile, you will be asked for the ransom which is a payment in the form of online currency like bitcoin for providing the access back to your decrypted data & files.
Most of the time the sole purpose behind the ransomware attack is to create a threat among victims to demand money. They always demand virtual money so that they will stay undetected.
You will be notified with all the steps or instructions for making the payment by the cyber attacker. But it is not sure whether they are going to give you the access back or release your confidential data online after receiving the demanded money.
These kinds of ransomware attacks can be delivered to your device through any email, broken website, spam links, online downloadable attachments, or files. Once you just click on such a link or download a file on your device it automatically gets decrypted or locked.
The worst part of these attacks is that you are unable to find the location or identity of the cyberhacker. Sometimes they don’t rely on the user interaction to do such attacks.
For more than two decades, the one & only motive behind these scam attacks is to threaten people for money whenever these cyberbullies wanted without leaving any trail behind that can lead us to them. The most important preventive measure you can take is to surf or click on the links carefully otherwise it can lead you to the attack of scammers.
But after all, there is no guarantee as these cyber crimes are becoming severe. It can evolve from any device & reach your desktop through any links, sites, or even downloading images can also land you in such a situation.
Different Types Of Ransomware
Now coming to the types of ransomware, there are multiple versions or you can say methods that attackers use to extort money from their potential victims. Let’s find out the popular types so that you will be aware how these potential ransomware can look on your screen:
- Screen Locker: The most common type of this malware defect is Screen Lockers. As the name suggests it will make all your documents or computer screen completely locked so that you no longer can access your files. It shows that you are under official investigation as some corrupted or illegal files are present on your device. It will seem to everyone that you are under some authority and they may have done this but it is nothing else than a cyber attack to get money from you. You will get proper instruction to pay the money.
- Screenware: This cyberattack presents itself as your device has some security concerns or technical difficulties that make you click on the pop-up notification you receive online. But it just makes your system more viable to such attacks. People generally click on these links that say “we have detected a virus on your device”. We suggest you to just ignore such notifications or messages if you receive them in the future.
- Encrypting ransomware: In this Ransome malware, the attacker gets access & encrypts the data present on your device. They will demand a ransom or digital payment to unlock or decrypt those files. Once you fulfill their demand, they promise to give you access back to your data. But in these cases, there is a very little chance that they will not use your precious data & make money by selling it as well.
- Doxware: It is a malware when an attacker threatens you to sell your confidential data online if you don’t pay the requested amount. You can’t access any file or the device once it is under Doxware. The whole system gets encrypted by them, not just a single file.
- Mobile Ransomware: It works on the mobile device when the hacker steals the data & locks your phone. Now you need to pay the ransom to get the access again.
How To Detect Ransomware Attack?
Here are some of the ways you can use to detect or avoid a potential malware attack. You will get protection from ransomware attack if you use these effective ways:
- Make everyone aware around you or in your organization about these malware attacks, how they can be done, or how you can easily avoid them. This way they will know what is the difference between any fraudulent or genuine information found on the web? Ultimately you will get protectionagainst ransomware to save your business data from getting breached as well.
- Monitor your loose ends, keep a constant eye on the traffic you receive, spammy links, files present on your devices, or most importantly regular user activity on your systems. This will help you to find the source to avoid the attack.
- You need to keep a check on the malicious emails your inbox receives as it is the potential source of such threats. This way you will not open such files or make the settings on your device to block such emails.
- Use anti-ransomware tools on your device so that you will avoid websites with potential threats.
Best Ways To Protect Your Files Against Ransomware
Here are some of the preventive measures you can take for the protection from ransomware:
- Update your device on a regular basis. It keeps your antivirus updated so that it will protect the files from ransomware. Timely scheduling updates or checks with regular antivirus scans can help you in preventing the damage.
- Try to download or purchase the different softwares from the authorized websites so that you run the genuine tool on your device. Downloading from fake sites or third party websites can be harmful or put the system in danger.
- Use Firewalls to detect the ransomware on the device or provide you alerts if it has any harmful virus whenever you use any software or files.
- Strong antivirus programs can save your devices by making it difficult for the harmful files to reach you. It prevents all the malware or threat causing files away from your reach so that ransomware can be avoided.
How To Recover From Ransomware Attack?
If you are under attack, there is not much you can do. Moreover, there is no guarantee that attackers will not misuse your data or return the complete access once you provide the ransom.
After the attack, you need to reboot your devices or systems & could use various ransomware recovery tools to get your data back. You need to install proper antimalware software to restore the device to the safe state it was before. It will help you remove all the infected files or data that still can affect your device.
Windows Restore gives you the option to restore your device to the time where it wasn’t affected by the malware & recover the data through backup.
Here are some step by step instructions or recommendations that you should follow to keep recover your data with best ransomware protections:
- You never know when your device poses to such threats so always keep backup data for recovery. Whether you work alone or you own an organization, always backup your files so that you can recover your data whenever you want.
- Online clean-up tools or ransom tools will help identify all malicious files that still exist but you need to isolate the files & identify them accurately.
- Use antivirus software tools to remove every last shred of that ransomware so that the attacker never again peeks into your system through any back doorways.
- You need to identify the ransomware-type & decrypt the data by using ransomware recovery tools. Once you know the types it was you can take necessary actions.
- Ransomware recovery tools will be helpful to you to some extent as in certain cases they will not be much help because of the evolving versions of such malware.
With the increasing advancements in various sectors such as health, infrastructure, monetary or public administration, the cost of such malware attacks in coming times will be higher or more threatening. These attacks are evolving every day & continue to use different baiting techniques to make their victims vulnerable all across the globe.
Ransomware has become a potential threat for all small or big organizations who are working with private or confidential data. So it’s wise for us to take such threats seriously & use crucial or preventative measures on protection from Ransomware.
FAQs Related To Protection Against Ransomware
What’s the best protection against ransomware?
If you need protection from ransomware, you need to train your employees or workers on how they can avoid such attacks. On the other hand, there are many trusted free or paid tools that you can purchase & install to avoid the risk. Here are some of them:
- Bitdefender Antivirus Plus.
- AVG Antivirus
- Avast Antivirus
- Webroot Antivirus
Does a VPN offer protection from ransomware?
No, VPN cannot protect you from ransomware. Surely, it will reduce the risk of this attack. The IP of your device will stay non-detected with the use of a VPN & makes it difficult for the hackers to target you without knowing the location.
Does antivirus protect against ransomware?
Yes, the antivirus can prevent ransomware to some extent as these threats are getting stronger day by day. Once your device gets attacked, the antivirus doesn’t help you much. But if you are using these programs from the beginning, they can overcome the threat.
Which free antivirus can remove ransomware?
There are various free or paid antiviruses that can remove ransomware. But you can use Avast Free Antivirus. It is best for Windows 7, 8 or Windows 10 ransomware protection to keep the infected files away from the system.
Is Malware bytes good against ransomware?
Malwarebytes is one of the best ransomware protection tools available online. It blocks any ransomware coming from any source to your devices and saves you from future risk.
What are the after effects of ransomware on businesses?
These are lot of after effects that you need to face after the attack:
- Loss of a business’s data
- Decrease in the revenue
- Working infrastructure open to all now.
- Recovery period or costs.
- Long term damage to reputation
- Future potential threats
- Create doubts for future customers.
Who are the main targets of ransomware?
Ransomware targets will depend upon the amount of threat the attacker wants to cause or which sector has the most privacy concerns. Here are some of them:
- Single wealthy individual
- Small to Medium-scale businesses
- Large scale organization
- Public or Govt. institutions.
Should you pay the hackers for ransomware?
In a situation of threat, it seems easy or convenient to pay the ransom & get your data back. But there is no guarantee while dealing with such people that they are going to keep your data safe. Along with that once you pay the ransom they can attack you again to extort more money which supports their existing business of threatening people.