Ransomware is the worst type of malware users can ever encounter: while other types of viruses, even if they can steal your information, still allow you to operate your computer after the infection -and also potentially clean it-, ransomware locks down your machine and asks for money to restore it as it was before the infection. Ransomware leaves users with no choice: once your machine is hit by it, the only thing to do is to turn it off, because the infection can rapidly spread across other devices in your network.
If you run a small business, you should have your IT Department determine if your network is hit by ransomware.
Once the damage has been assessed, the business owner should never pay the ransom to have the files decrypted and restored, but he/she should take a proactive stance to avoid the incident happening again. And even if the ransom is paid, be aware that it’s not guaranteed that the files will be back as they were before.
As network and computer security is always a concern of mine, every time I visit my clients, I make them aware that a simple antivirus is not enough to protect against ransomware and that small business should take the following more holistic approach to better protect their networks:
If ransomware hits your network, the IT department should be authorized by the business owner to call the authorities before taking any action. After clearance from the authorities, all infected computers and servers should be formatted and operating systems should be reinstalled again from scratch. In a bulletproof network, users work together with IT people to establish not only trust but to engage in a constant flow of questions and answers where users learn more about what is dangerous and IT people can get a hold of users’ habits.