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Ransomware has become a major hazard to U.S. individuals, businesses, and organizations over the past two years. Opportunities have increased for cyberattackers to access different critical infrastructures.

Most people know what ransomware is, but how does it work?

Most ransomware variants encrypt files on the infected system or network. However, a few variants are known to erase files or block access to the system using other methods. Once the ransomware blocks access to the system, the cyberattacker demands a ransom to unlock the files, often with cryptocurrency such as bitcoin.

Ransomware variants almost always opportunistically target victims, infecting various computers and network resources to encrypt your valuable data.

Ransomware can get onto your computer through many means. Some examples are  you might plug in an infected flash drive or download something from a website.

Emails with dangerous attachments or links to malicious sites are the common sources of infection. In fact, the most unpleasant aspect of many ransomware programs is that they can spread across devices on the same network. Misconfigured or out-of-date software can also expose your data to this type of attack.

How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware

#1.Secure your Network and  Back Up Your Data

There are many ways to protect yourself from ransomware, but the best way to do so is to secure your network and back up your system.

Preventing an incident with robust security is ideal, but the reality is that it can be difficult to implement. Prudential Associates can assist you with implementing a robust security solution.

Have a backup system that allows multiple iterations of backups to be saved in case your system gets infected with ransomware. Also, store your backups separately; attackers cannot access it from a network. Follow the 3-2-1 rule for data.  Be sure to test your backup solution to ensure it works!

#2. Avoid Suspicious Websites

Cybercriminals not limiting themselves to links in emails employ a formidable array of tricks to dupe victims into downloading malware. If clicking on a banner results in an unexpected Web resource appearing or the screen prompting you to download something, close the page immediately.

#3. Install a Security Solution

Use antivirus and anti-spam solutions, as well as run a regular system and network scans with antivirus programs. Use caution with links, as well as when entering website addresses and opening email attachments.

#4. Have an Incident Response Plan

Prudential Associates recommends having an incident response plan that includes what to do during a ransomware event. Organizations should make sure that they provide cybersecurity awareness and training to their personnel.

#5. Contact Us

If your network is infected with ransomware, time is of the essence!  Implement your incident response plan and coordinate with a competent professional such as our experts with Prudential Associates.

Learn More About Cyber-Extortion and Ransomware Response with Prudential Associates

If your system is infected with ransomware or if you need a plan in place, our team of security experts will work with you to help you. Contact us to learn how we can help with your computer protection needs.

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