How to Recover from Ransomware Attacks
December 5, 2021 at 7:00 AM
Image of a laptop on a desk where somewhere is learning how to recover from ransomware attacks.

Nefarious individuals and groups on a mission to cause disruption via hacking are a more present threat than ever–especially with organizations across industries using internet solutions for so many aspects of their business. When facing the growing threat from hackers, leaders need to embrace a “not if, but when” approach.

Chances are, at some point, you’ll have to deal with a data breach or other internet-based attack on your company. If you wait until after the attack, it’s too late to take critical steps that can minimize the damage to your business. Working with an expert IT team is the best way to ensure your equipment, processes, and crew will be responsive in a crisis. Here are a few things you can do when you need to know how to recover from ransomware attacks.

What is a ransomware attack?

Ransomware enters your system through “trojans” that look like legitimate software but are actually malware that encrypts your data. Hackers ask for a “ransom”–a payment to decrypt the data they’ve locked.

Unfortunately, because of the sophistication of ransomware, even when the same malware is used, the hackers create a unique decryption key for every attack. It’s impossible to make universal decryption software. That’s why it’s essential to work with an expert IT team to prepare your organization for a ransomware attack and help you recover afterward.

Pictured - a man at a computer disguised as an anonymous hacker wearing a Guy Fawkes mask.

How to recover from a ransomware attack:

There’s no point in stressing unnecessarily about hackers. Instead, train your employees to recognize potential trojans and keep up-to-date data backups. Part of being prepared is recognizing that your company will likely have to deal with ransomware at some point. When it happens, here’s how to recover:

Don’t pay the ransom.

The reason ransomware exists is because it’s profitable for criminals. If all organizations were to stop paying hackers, there would be much less threat. Also, keep in mind that the individuals who hacked into your company’s data don’t likely have a lot of personal integrity. There’s no guarantee that the hackers will release your data if you pay the ransom amount. They may ask for more money or just disappear.

The key is to be in a position where you don’t need to pay, which means having current, accessible data backups.

Report the attack to the authorities.

The experience of dealing with hackers can feel like a faceless assault. Still, you’re dealing with individuals who are committing a crime. It’s critical to report ransomware attacks to the proper authorities the way you would if your offices were vandalized or robbed. Your local police department may have a cyber crimes department to record the incident, or you can file a report online with On Guard.

Work with a reliable IT company to wipe and restore.

No matter what, there’s a cost to ransomware attacks. Still, you can minimize the cost by taking certain steps in preparation. Having an existing relationship with a reliable IT company allows you to act quickly to wipe your system to ensure there’s no trace of malware. Then, the IT professionals will reinstall from your backups.

While stressful, preparation and responsiveness to ransomware attacks will minimize the impact of hackers on your operations.

Corporate compliance insights

It’s Just Results is a cybersecurity partner helping clients recover from ransomware.

We founded It’s Just Results on the idea that people don’t want shortcuts for their data and internet security. We provide innovative structures that optimize company resources while empowering your organization to get where it wants to go. While ransomware is a more present threat than ever, we can help you and your team prepare, react and recover with as little downtime as possible.

We want to make IT solutions more manageable and accessible than ever; we deliver results whether you’re dealing with a single issue, a long-term project, or upgrading your entire company. Contact our team and learn how to recover from ransomware attacks.