HC Protect Ransomware
How to Protect Against Ransomware
Ransomware can be spread to machines when users:
Open a malicious attachment in an e-mail
Click on a malicious link in an e-mail, instant message, social networking site or other website or visit a corrupt website
Download corrupt software or connect your computer to corrupt hardware such as a USB drive or memory stick
Leave their computers & networks unprotected
Prevention is better than a cure:
Install system and software application updates on all devices as soon as they become available. These contain the very latest security patches.
Be careful which websites you visit. Never click on links or reply to unsolicited or spam emails from companies or individuals you do not recognise.
Do not install or run software you don’t really need or don’t know where it’s from. Some pieces of malware install background programs that try to steal personal data.
If you use apps, only install apps from an official app store such as Google’s Play Store or Apple’s App Store.
Use anti-virus or anti-malware software. Install and keep anti-virus (AV), anti-malware and firewall software updated on all of your devices. Always check downloaded files with AV software. We would strongly advise companies and businesses to invest in anti-malware software for computers, and consider intrusion prevention or detection systems for your networks.
Back up your data regularly to an external hard drive or device that is not left connected to the network. If you use cloud storage, make sure you log out after every use.
Businesses should operate a strict back-up routine. Back up all your data, preferably to offline storage. By doing this, in the event you are unfortunate enough to be targeted by ransomware, you can easily and quickly restore your data offline.
If you have ransomware on your computer/s:
Isolate affected computer: If your system is disabled and a ransom message displayed on your computer demanding payment, isolate that computer from the network immediately, or for small businesses or home computers not on a network, disconnect from the internet by pulling the plug from the router/home hub.
Do not pay the ransom: Our advice is that you should not hand over any money. Paying does not guarantee your problem will be solved or that you will be able to access your files again. Also, by paying, it may encourage organised cyber-criminals to target you again.
Seek professional advice. If your device has been infected, seek advice from a trustworthy source such as an Information Security specialist IT company or your anti-virus provider on how to remove the virus, clean and restore your computer.
If you are a business, contact your IT department or IT support contractor immediately. For some ransomwares, there are free decryption tools available online which you can access to decrypt the virus. Sites such as www.nomoreransom.org, can tell you if the ransomware affecting your computer is one of these and, if so, how to proceed.
This still doesn’t guarantee you will be able to restore your data. The very best way to prevent it from happening in the first place.
For further advice and guidance, visit:
Follow @HCCyberProtect on Twitter for the latest advice to keep you and your business safe.
Email Hampshire Constabulary’s DII Cyber Protect team: