5 Steps for Responding to Ransomware

By December 20, 2017Uncategorized

What Is Ransomware?

Ransomware is called thus because it is malware that makes it impossible for its victims to access their data until they have paid a ransom to the author. As a result, it is a serious threat to businesses because interrupted revenue-earning operations can mean enormous losses. Fortunately, businesses are not helpless when it comes to either ransomware or other cybersecurity threats, whether on their own or with the help of IT companies in Ottawa.

What Are 5 Steps for Responding to Ransomware?

The first step should be calling in the crisis management team. Said team should include not just the IT personnel responsible for handling viruses, trojans, and other forms of malware but also PR and legal specialists. After all, a serious interruption can hurt a business’s reputation, meaning that it will have to be managed. Furthermore, some businesses in some sectors have rules and regulations in this regard that must be followed.

Second, the crisis management team should examine the potential responses while in consultation with both the PR and the legal specialists. For example, if a business has recent backups, it can just restore its systems instead of having to pay the ransom. In contrast, if a business has no recent backups, it is going to have to make a serious decision about whether it is willing to pay the ransom or not. On the one hand, it could be the most galling but nonetheless the least harmful option; on the other hand, it could also encourage further attacks from similar threats in the future by showing potential attackers that the business can be made to pay up.

Third, the crisis management team should get started on implementing the response that has been chosen. Often, this can mean calling in outside help from IT companies in Ottawa. If so, businesses should make sure to do so earlier rather than later so as to benefit from as much of their help as possible. Please note that while businesses should do their best to limit the extent of the damage done by the ransomware, they should hold off on probing deeper into their systems unless they are sure that they know what they are doing. This is because some forms of ransomware are designed to either erase or corrupt the data under certain circumstances.

Fourth, businesses will want to figure out what went wrong. Furthermore, they will want to make sure that the appropriate authorities are alerted to the problem, which is something that they should do while in close consultation with their legal experts. Once again, IT companies in Ottawa can help interested parties a great deal with figuring out what happened so as to prevent future recurrences.

Fifth. businesses should implement solutions to the vulnerabilities in their cybersecurity that let the ransomware through in the first place. Sometimes, this can mean teaching their employees more about safe computer use, which is important because the human element is often the weakest component in cybersecurity. Other times, this can mean installing antiviruses, installing firewalls, installing patches, setting up monitoring processes, making better use of encryption and authentication, having more regular backups, and countless other possibilities.

Contact Us

Knowing the right IT companies in Ottawa can help interested parties better handle ransomware and other cybersecurity threats. Those interested in learning more should make sure to contact us as soon as time permits.