Ransomware is becoming increasingly popular among malicious web users; essentially, it encrypts the files on your computer, only releasing them when you pay a ransom. If a personal device is attacked, ransomware can be extremely annoying. If a device that is part of your network is targeted, things can be much worse.
From customer emails to client work, data is the lifeblood of many a small business, so make sure you take the following five steps if you’re ever affected by ransomware.
- Go Offline
The first thing you need to do is contain the problem; ransomware on one device may spread to others on your network. Turn off your Wi-Fi and shut off the computer. You should also remove any Ethernet cords that have been used to physically connect computers.
- Determine the Source
It really helps to know what you’re dealing with, even if it’s only to give an IT professional a better idea of the situation. Try talking to the user who was originally affected to find out what they opened or used prior to the attack.
- Contact a Professional
Now you’ve disconnected your devices and done your best to find out what caused the ransomware to infiltrate your system, it’s time to contact an IT professional. Ransomware is often relatively sophisticated, and many older security programs are not able to completely remove it. An IT professional will be able to help remove the program and recover as much of your data as possible.
- Don’t Pay
If the data that has been encrypted is particularly valuable, you might be tempted to pay the ransom and then improve your cyber security to make sure such a situation never occurs again. However, it’s well worth remembering that there are no guarantees, and it’s never certain that paying the ransom will result in the problem being resolved.
- Improve Your Security
Once the problem has been dealt with, you need to improve your security. The best thing to do is to switch to a managed IT service. Your system will be updated and monitored automatically, meaning that you’ll always enjoy the newest security systems and have access to people with the right expertise.