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How To Prevent Ransomware Attack In 2020?

Cyber security 01/17/2020 - 10:45 by Swathi Raju

Best Ways to Prevent a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attacks have been becoming bolder as the years pass by. As we witnessed in 2019, the ransomware attacks have devastated industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, finance, etc. It comes as no surprise to know that many companies have put forth Ransomware prevention and response as a priority in 2020.

There are no exceptions from the hackers’ point of view as they had attacked numerous Government agencies and electricity industries which as an outcome had led to IT systems shutdowns constituting to Ransomware attacks. Most organizations abide to pay the ransom to retrieve their data hostage and to restore affected data. The ransom money demanded by the cyber criminals exceeded $4bn.

“Aftermath of a Ransomware attack has dire consequences”.

Crypto Ransomware – lurks through the network or computer looking for specific data that might be vital for the user. Collects documents like texts, images, and PDFs. If the ransom isn’t paid within a given time frame, then the data is lost forever.

Locker Ransomware – The malware enters the system and locks the entire system. The affected victim wouldn’t be allowed to log onto the system and perform even casual tasks as the ransom text would be displayed indicating locker ransomware.

Scareware – Scareware restricts every access to the data and the system. It is likely to be similar to locker ransomware, however the ransom methodology is different from locker ransomware.

Doxware – Doxware Ransomware threatens to publicly expose sensitive information, Personal Identification Information, and financial information on the Internet if the victim fails to pay the demanded ransom.

There are many anti-virus products in the market and the brains behind those antivirus designs are in an everyday battle with cyber criminals. Ransomware attacks are prone to occur only because the hackers are raising new techniques to spread Trojans or coin miners to camouflage the anti-virus tools installed by a user. A Zero-day attack concept is very raw for anti-virus. A business getting a ransomware hit is the worst nightmare the affected victim would be facing. It is very unpredictable as the victim upon paying the ransom may or may not retrieve the lost or damaged data.

Prevent Ransomware attacks in 2020

Planning a strategy to keep ourselves ahead in the world of cyber-attacks is essential. Many companies have realized the importance of cyber security only after being the victim of cyber crimes. The ignorance from the businesses or the individual’s perspective had cost them beyond limits.

In 2019, we witnessed many ransomware attacks that made the news and there might be many more that weren’t on the news. Overall, the attacks aren’t going to stop any sooner and the ownership responsibility is to be taken rather than assuming their business might not fall under such cyber risks.

Recommended preventive measures of Ransomware attacks are as follows;

Detecting Ransomware Behavior –

Ransomware protection software can be installed to identify potential cyber hacks. Ransomware attacks have a behavioral pattern that could be detected and most likely could be prevented. Creating a bait for cyber criminals as to what files they would fall for and trigger It. This is to be one step ahead of the cyber attackers and to recognize their playbook. However, this is purely to know the hacker’s game plan in a way. Then remediation is based on the bait taken by the cybercriminals.

System back-up: cloud & locally –

Having an entire backup of the system both locally and in the cloud is very essential to Prevent Ransomware. By doing so, the sensitive and confidential data wouldn’t fall into the hands of the cybercriminals. On the contrary, if the system gets hit by Ransomware then, in such circumstances, these backups play a vital role as it would be much simpler to wipe the entire system that’s affected and repair with the stored up-to-date backup data.

Cloud backups are essential for a Ransomware attack. Cloud backups offer an additional protection layer.

Network access restriction –

Network segregation is important not only for Ransomware attacks but also for any kind of cyber-attacks or threats. By dynamic access control, the data access by any cyber attacker is limited. Network segmentation will ensure that the network security on the whole is not compromised in case of an attack.

Anti-Malware/ Anti-Ransomware software –

Not every anti-virus has all the features to detect and eradicate Ransomware. The security software must comprise anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware protection. They must be up-to-date and checked at regular intervals.

Ransomware awareness amongst employees –

Majority of the Ransomware attacks happen due to human error. Businesses and users aren’t given appropriate training and awareness when it comes to Ransomware.

Employees should be aware of the varying Phishing methodologies where they shouldn’t be eager to click on unknown links or open malicious content without understanding the possible consequences. Importance of links and attachments received and double checking the sender source. The Ransomware attack might occur in disguise of the various hacking methods and not necessarily Phishing.

Remote working employees should know not to use public or open WiFi which would provide a pathway for hackers to break through your system.

Strong password policy –

Hackers succeed in entering a system or a network mainly because of the weak and easy passwords. Social engineering is one of the hacking methods. For instance, say the targeted victim makes use of the same weak password for all of his accounts. Cracking the targeted victim’s password and hitting the jackpot to access of his associated accounts. In certain cases, individuals tend to keep their pet or their name as the password which are all considered weak passwords as such information could be easily available on the target’s social media accounts publicly.

Every company should mandate a strong password policy and not every site should contain the same password.

Block unknown email ID on mail server –

The Mail server must reject emails and attachments of unknown sources and we have the best solution for it. Check out Libraesva – The Next Generation Email Security.

Ransomware attacks occur mostly via Email when a user unknowingly downloads a malicious document and corrupts the entire system.

Disable vulnerable plug-ins –

Various web plug-ins are used by hackers to lure their targets. Flash is a very common web plug-in. They are the most prone to initiate an attack and serve to infect the target’s system. Regular updating of these vulnerable plug-ins is vital to prevent your system from getting virus attacks.

Viewable file extensions –

To safeguard from malicious Ransomware attacks, any individual be it a business email or a personal one must be aware of what document has been sent if the document has a relevant file extension. This protects the system from downloading irrelevant documents sent by a malicious intruder.

For instance, a malicious attachment that contains the ransomware hidden in the email where the receiver doesn’t pay enough attention and downloads it to his system. Upon doing so, the user clicks on the downloaded document and a ransomware note shows up on the pop-up. To avoid such situations, viewable file extension from a trusted source is highly recommended.

“Lending a hand towards Cyber security is the only way to prevent and resolve Ransomware attacks and to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals’ playbook”.

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Ransomware is a peculiar type of malware that extort a financial ransom from theaffected party by black-mailing to disclose, delete or revoke access to critical personalinformation. | teceze