What to Do if a Ransomware Attack Hits your Business
Over the past few years, Businesses have experienced a drastic increase in cyber threats and phishing attempts. It seems that nearly every phone call or email you receive is trying to steal your information or get you to click a link. Ransomware is another form of aggressive cyberattack, where hackers break into your network and block access to your system until you pay them.
Many businesses incorrectly believe that they have no valuable data worth stealing and will never be a target for a cyber-attack. Regardless of the size of your business, though, you should always take your network protection seriously. Criminals aren’t particular about their target–if they find a vulnerability in your IT infrastructure, they will continue to focus their attacks until they breach it.
The only way to protect yourself from any form of threat is by increasing your cybersecurity. It would be best to prevent an attack, but what should you do if one happens? If your business gets infected or hit by a ransomware attack, follow these steps to deal with the situation and restore your data security.
7 Strategies to Adopt If You Get Hit By Ransomware
1. Stop the Spread of the Malware
Once you notice that your network has been breached, you need to work quickly to lock down your IT network and isolate any infected devices from the rest of your infrastructure. Disable your Wi-Fi and turn off any network connections to stop the malware from spreading–think of it like an actual virus that you need to quarantine to keep the rest of the group safe and healthy.
You must first contain the security breach to recover any data and rebuild your security defences. If your IT department and employees are unable to achieve this themselves, you should consider outsourcing to experts who have the resources and skill to handle cyber attacks.
2. Investigate Your Exposure
Investigating the ransomware attack is crucial for you to figure out why it happened in the first place and which aspects of your IT security you need to improve. Conduct a Rapid Response Triage Investigation to help you figure out which user accounts were targeted and when, locate the log-in access point from the hackers, and discover any additional valuable information from your SIEM activity logs.
You can only begin fixing the situation once you understand it–knowing how your system was breached will help your IT department strengthen your structure and repair any weak points. If the hackers send you a ransom note, it will potentially reveal which kind of malware infiltrated your network and can narrow down your options for removal.
3. Remove the Ransomware
After your investigation, you will need to remove all traces of malicious content from your infrastructure by resetting your passwords and user accounts, shutting down ports, eliminating any backdoors or unauthorized access points, and wiping your computers. Don’t just rely on your Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) software to identify and resolve your IT threats, though. Keep in mind that it will take more work on your end to remove all of the ransomware thoroughly.
4. Restore Your Systems
The process of restoring your network depends entirely on the type of cyber attack and security breach, as they affect different aspects of your system. You will need to reset all user credentials and reinstall your Operating System. This step is more straightforward when you have a small business, as you will have fewer devices and accounts to restore.
Regularly backing up your data becomes vital to your business in the event of a network breach. When you continuously save your information, you can recover your files and applications much more quickly and resume normal operations than if you had nothing saved. The most popular data storage option is a cloud computing system where you can access all of your business data regardless of location.
Before you reinstall your data, ensure that it is malware-free. You don’t want to restore your system only for it to reconnect to an infected device. The malware could potentially be buried deep within your network, though, making it highly challenging to eliminate it from your systems completely. You should monitor your activity for a couple of weeks after the attack to determine whether your infrastructure is adequately restored and secured or if threats still exist.
5. Inform Any Compromised Users
If hackers infiltrate your IT system, it is your responsibility to notify all affected parties. Depending on the data’s sensitivity and the severity of the breach, you will need to report it to the police, your bank, insurance, employees, and clients. It will help your business if you create a strategy for internal and external communication forms to quickly inform the necessary parties so that you don’t break notification laws.
6. Determine Whether to Pay the Ransom
Most agencies and tech firms advise companies not to pay any ransom demands. It’s not a guarantee that you’ll recover all of your lost data or that the criminals will return your network safely. It also makes you a bigger target for future attacks since the hackers know that you’ll pay them. If you have a data recovery strategy and ransom recovery service in mind, it might be more cost-effective to reject the demands outright.
7. Set up Protective Measures
You don’t want to have to go through this ordeal ever again, so invest in solid network cybersecurity after you’ve restored your systems and blocked off vulnerable access points. Make an assessment of your IT infrastructure and goals, switch to offsite cloud-based storage for data recovery, and install various firewalls and anti-malware software to block any sending or receiving of malicious content. Ensure that your systems are continually updated and your employees can recognize phishing attempts. Reset your passwords frequently and limit admin access to the essential employees only.
Sometimes, your in-house IT department might not have the resources or budget to deal with a ransomware attack. It can be incredibly beneficial for your business’s safety to consult with experienced cybersecurity service providers and develop a protection strategy. They can assist you in installing various defence layers to prevent any external threat from harming your infrastructure.
If you require help securing your Infrastructure or want to look at IT Managed Services, we would be more than happy to have a no-obligation chat about how we can help
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