Every business that has a digital presence is a potential ransomware attack target. A successful ransomware attack can cost huge to an organization. But how should a company handle a ransomware attack? Besides the loss of money, the organization also needs to suffer from additional damages post-ransomware. These damages more often include:
- Reputational damage
- Damage analysis
- Increased insurance premiums, etc.
To avoid this, learning how a company handle ransomware attack is imperative.
The risks of a ransomware attack
Ransomware can cause disruption and damage to the reputation, data, and finances of any organization. Ransomware, at present, encrypts and exfiltrates sensitive data of any organization. These also provide cybercriminals multiple levers for extorting a ransom. At times, ransomware attacks can also expand their operations to target a company’s customers. Moreover, a ransomware attack also possesses certain risks to a business.
Within the first half of 2021, the average ransomware payment was around $570,000.
Moreover, about 58% of organizations damaged by ransomware had agreed to pay more in 2021. These statistics show the huge importance of learning how a company handles a ransomware attack.
Besides these costs, loss of productivity is another huge challenge for an organization that faces ransomware attacks. This attack can damage a company’s reputation and even make it lose its customers.
Prefer protection over prevention
Once ransomware begins to encrypt your files, the damage has already been done. This can be problematic until a company can restore its files from backups. Otherwise, the company will lose some of its data after paying a ransom.
Moreover, modern ransomware usually steals data before encrypting your files. This means that the business is more likely to have already suffered from a data breach. Therefore, prevention is arguably the best way to protect your company’s resources and reputation.
Some of the best ways you can consider to protect your company from ransomware attacks include:
- Patch management by installing security patches and updates promptly.
- Phishing Prevention by identifying and responding to phishing campaigns properly and deploying anti-phishing solutions.
- Access Management by deploying MFA (Multi-factor Authentication) and restricting system access.
- By incorporating Anti-Ransomware solutions that can identify and detect such malicious attacks before they damage.
Choosing these protection measures can help to reduce a ransomware attack’s possibility. Moreover, adding a strong backup policy with these protections can also reduce the impact of a ransomware attack.
Report the attack
It isn’t shameful to become a victim of a ransomware attack. The majority of big organizations have been victims of ransomware attacks. However, it is dangerous for your company. Hackers behind this malicious activity use a sophisticated methodology that can make even savvy businessmen fall prey.
Therefore, if you have received a ransomware attack, you should quickly report it to the authorities. It is because the FBI has to hear about that in the case of ransomware. So, you should report the case to the Bureau’s Internet Crime Complaint Center without delay.
Reporting your incident to respective authorities can help them and other businesses to deal with growing threats. Your report will be combined with other reports to understand possible causes, solutions, and means of attack.
Moreover, your report can also make other businesses forewarned about the situation.
Understand the extent of the disruption
Once you have identified the ransomware attack, you should conduct a quick assessment. This will help you to learn about the scope of a ransomware attack in the best possible way. Moreover, this assessment will help you address the external and internal concerns of clients, leaders, and consumers.
Additionally, crafting an adequate response plan will become harder without knowing the extent of disruption that ransomware has caused.
Ensure rapid response to a ransomware attack
Responding to a ransomware attack rapidly can help you to reduce its impact. You must have a proper incident report team to ensure a quick and effective response to the attack. So, plan a ransomware attack response strategy.
You should consider the following key factors while responding to a ransomware attack:
- Ransomware attacks are always stressful and can make you panic. However, it is necessary to keep a cool head. Save the ransom note’s picture and follow the incident response plan appropriately.
- Some ransomware also tries to spread via a network. Therefore, you must disconnect infected systems from your network ASAP.
- A ransomware attack can leave your system unstable. While changes in the system can also lead to loss of data. Therefore, you should avoid rebooting your infected systems.
- Some ransomware attacks also infect backup files to compel you to pay the ransom. Therefore, you must avoid quickly connecting your machines to backup files.
- Collaborate with your service providers and inform them about the ransomware attack.
Lastly, remove the ransomware and recover your systems
Assess your backup system’s security
Once you have removed ransomware and recovered your system. Now you can consider recovering your data from the backup files.
Although for some people paying ransom seems the easiest thing to recover their data. However, this isn’t always a certain option to choose. As companies don’t get their data back even after paying a ransom. So, be careful and choose the right option.
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