Ransomware Bytes! How to Recover Quickly in 5 Steps
Uh oh... you’ve been infected by ransomware! What do you do?
First, don't panic. It's possible that you didn't protect against ransomware as well as you could have. But don't dismay; we're here to help!
Here are five key steps to recover from ransomware.
1. Isolate Infected Computers
As with other types of malware, ransomware wants to spread to other computers. If one computer is infected, it should be isolated from others by taking it off the network and considering it viral until the system can be reimaged.
2. Recover Your Data from Backup
Hopefully, you have your data backed up. If there was ever a good reason to backup your data, ransomware is that reason. The risk of ransomware is in the value of your data and what the loss of that data means. With regular backups, you can ignore ransomware’s threat to destroy your data and move forward with your computer.
3. Reimage Your Computer
Rather than trying to remove the ransomware from your system, consider it lost and reimage the entire operating system and reinstall applications. See the previous step for getting the data back.
If you have the right tools in place, this is a quick procedure. If you don’t, get your software installs out and buckle up for a few hours. Once you’ve done this and the previous step, you’re ready to go.
4. Update Your Software
Consider this a step to prevent future infections. You may be able to identify ransomware got onto your computer and if it was through a malicious website or web ad, it is likely that it exploited a vulnerability in your browser or other web software. Keeping these and all software up to date minimizes the risk of vulnerabilities getting exploited to deliver ransomware.
This can be a difficult process to do manually, but a good patch management solution will automate this process.
5. Use Endpoint Security Software
Again, this step is similar to the previous in that it focuses on eliminating future infections. You could break this down into a few different sub-steps which include:
- Installing antivirus software and keeping it up to date
- Use advanced endpoint security capabilities which block ransomware behavior
- Minimize administrator privileges to limit what a malicious attack can do
- Consider whitelisting to prevent untrusted software from running
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