Ransomware, a form of malware that aims at both human and technical weaknesses to make critical data or systems inaccessible. Ransomware is delivered through various vectors, including Remote Desktop Protocol, which allows computers to connect across a network, and phishing. Ransomware has been a prominent threat to enterprises, SMBs, and individuals alike for the past few years. In 2017, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 1,783 ransomware complaints that cost victims over $2.3 million. Those complaints, however, represent only the attacks reported to IC3. The actual number of ransomware attacks and costs are much higher. Ransomware was initially envisioned to target individuals, who still comprise the majority of attacks today.
What Is a Ransomware Attack?
A ransomware attack is carried out with malware that encrypts your systems and data. Attackers demand a ransom to decrypt your data, allowing you to access it again. Often, attackers ask for payment in cryptocurrency since it is anonymous and the ransoms demanded are usually for large sums of money.
How to Prevent Ransomware: Building Your Ransomware Data Recovery Strategy
One of the best ways to protect your systems against ransomware is to prevent it from being installed.
The next best way is to anticipate how it can enter your systems and what data is likely to be targeted, also having a robust pc backup software. This helps you focus on protections and ensure that your vital data is backed up before an attack.
To develop a robust data protection strategy, start with your data and work from there. The following steps can help you develop a solid ransomware data recovery strategy.
- Inventory your data:
How to categorize and where to store your data? The best way to determine is by creating an inventory of your data. Categories might include critical, valuable, regulated, or proprietary. Once you have an inventory, you can determine how data needs to be protected and you can initiate data backup.
- Identify your endpoints
It’s mandatory to know where your endpoints are to identify where ransomware infections might come from. Like with your data, you can sort endpoints to determine priority and ensure high-value endpoints are protected properly.
- Determine your recovery plan
The next step is to create a ransomware data recovery plan for all assets and data, prioritizing mission-critical ones. Ensure that you can either restore or rebuild all assets, preferably from a master backup or image.
- Protect your backups
Secure and accessible backups are only helpful. You need to ensure your backups are as protected as your systems and data to make sure that you can restore data from backups and that the data you are restoring is reliable.
- Duplicate data offsite
Have multiple copies of your data either offline, offsite, or both. This ensures that even if on-site backups are encrypted with ransomware your data is still restored. When storing these copies, secure data just as you would for the primary copy.
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