No one can remain at peace spotting a ransomware attack on their computer. Despite implementing best cyber security practices across the organization and investing on advanced protection tools, sometimes you might be shockingly surprised to see that you turned a victim to the hackers. The message on your computer by the criminals might demand you to pay ransom money through Bitcoins in order to get the decrypting key to rescue your computer or retrieve your data safely. Ransomware can attack and infect your computer in more than one way. They are carried by phishing emails, a malvertising link or some downloads. Whatever be the way it has landed on to infect your system, you need to now deal with it. Here is an expert step by step guide for ransomware removal and recovery.
Understand the point first
It is very important to build a multi-layer security scheme for every business. Sometimes, the hackers manage to find an innovative way to creep into your system and destabilize it in demand of ransom. When this unlucky incident has happened, know that you are not alone and need not worry about paying the ransom. Enough number of businesses are already victimized by ransomware but have been benefited by expert advice on how to go about the recovery and removal of ransomware to protect their computer and retrieve sensitive data. Once you discover your system or data is locked by ransomware, the following are the first five things to do for recovery and removal of ransomware.
The immediate action you must do is to disconnect the infected PC from the network. Once it is offline, you need to pull out the Ethernet cord, disconnect the Wi-Fi and shut down the system. Since some ransomware are programmed to spread via network connection, it is the best idea to disconnect the infected system from the rest in the network so that you have contained the breach.
The next priority is to disable the shared drives because several ransomware types like CryptoFortress and Locky can also go to the extent of encrypting the network and all the shared drives that are connected to the infected system. Hence, when you doubt an instance of ransomware in a particular PC, you must get all the shared drives offline until the network is completely cleaned.
The next step is to find out the root cause of the infection. After the computers are shut down and the shared drives are made offline, talk to the user to find out what they were doing before the ransomware infection episode. Check if they had checked any unusual email or were prompted to enable macros. This step of learning from the user about the possible reason for the attack can throw more light on how to remedy the situation. This will also help in preventing any further attacks.
Now you need to caution the other users in the light of the experience reported by the user who inadvertently caused the problem. When you have developed the idea of what kind of attack you are now confronting, you need to send a note across the organization to warn the other users so that they stay vigilant to prevent any future ransomware attacks from their ends. Though an incident of ransomware attack is certainly an unlucky one, it also gives an opportunity to educate the users on the best practices with regard to cyber security so that the whole team is well prepared to combat the future attacks.
Now it is the time to run your security software on the infected system. You have so far isolated the system that is infected by ransomware. Ask all the users to now update the virus and malware protection tools installed in the systems and run a full system scan on all the devices in the network. Because ransomware implements several changes in a rapid fashion, it is important to update the antivirus program you are using with the latest patches and updates available online. Once the systems are thoroughly scanned and the ransomware is successfully removed, you have now got rid of the problem that stormed your business. Once you are sure that the systems are clean, you can restore the files from recent backup.
Though relying on cheap protection technology and unknowledgeable IT staff are some factors that might invite ransomware attacks, the most obvious reason why the hackers are having an upper hand is the vulnerability forced on an organization by the uninformed staff. It is crucially important to educate the staff of every business to update themselves tot eh latest cyber security practices and work safely and securely in order to avoid any instances of future threats from ransomware. Being proactive is the key to stay secure for every organization.