Ransomware threats are not unknown to many users today. Unlike early days of this threat when such attacks were few to count these days, it is bombarding users with different variants and types. It is affecting users across a wide spectrum. These malicious codes are getting more dangerous with the time. Despite the variety of security measures are taken against ransomware threats today still it is hard to decrypt the data affected by these attacks. To prevent yourself from these malicious attacks we suggest you to follow below steps.
Install a reputable security suite: Always prefer to have both anti-malware and a software firewall to help you protect your system from malware threats or any suspicious behavior. Malware attackers come with new variants and versions every time, to avoid detection, so it becomes important to have both layers of protection. If your system has been attacked with latest ransomware variant, there are a chance it may get past anti-malware software. In that case, firewall proves to be the second wall of defense.
Disconnect from the network immediately: This proves to be the effective step when you know that your system is affected by malware threat. Turn off Wi-Fi or unplug from the network so that malware cannot connect to its Command and Control (C&C) servers to receive further instructions for encrypting your system files. If you manage to disconnect the link between C&C servers and your system, you may manage to save some of your data lost as you have stopped the communication between the two systems. Generally, it takes some time to any malware to encrypt all your files, thus you may manage to save some of your files from being encrypted.
Update system software: This is a general advice which applies equally to any malware threat. Keep your system up to date for any external threat. It is a common practice of malware attackers that they target people who are running outdated software as they are prone to vulnerabilities. This vulnerability part is exploited by attackers to silently get onto your computer. This can be prevented as users can make a general practice to update system at regular intervals. In fact, many vendors release updates at regular intervals which can be very useful to save your system from any threat.
Set System Restore point: If you have enabled system restore point on your computer there are chances you could be able to take your computer back to a known-clean state. This way you can recover your certain data. Latest versions of specific malware are affecting “Shadow” files from System restore which means you need to be very quick while recovering to previous known safe state.
Disable Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP): Remote desktop protocol is used to connect to another system over a network connection using graphical interface. As a strong prevention measure, you can disable your RDP service to safeguard your system from any visual threat. This way no one can access your system remotely to infect it with the virus.
Disable Macro: Macro in Microsoft office documents are used to automate repetitive tasks by recording actions running the macro. Macro recorder is used to record own macros in office documents. Certain Macros which you have created don’t pose a security threat. When macros are run automatically while the document is open it can spread the malicious instructions. It is advisable to disable Macro to avoid malicious attacks.
Show hidden file extensions: Most of the file extensions are hidden in Windows default settings. Re-enable the settings to able to see the full file extension so that it becomes easier for you to spot suspicious files. Many malware attacks your system with different file extensions thus it becomes important to keep a tab on file extensions to avert malicious activities on your system.
Deny “.EXE” in the mail: If you can filter the files by extension using gateway mail scanner it is better not to accept emails sent with “.exe” files extension or files with two file extensions. Place a setting to avert such files to protect your system effortlessly.
Avoid suspicious links: This is the basics to prevent your system from malware threats. Do not randomly click on any link or website as it may contain malicious content. Attackers generally use email links and social engineering tactics to infect systems. Thus it becomes important to avoid suspicious links and emails rendered by the unknown medium.
Backup your data: This is the most assured way to protect your data from any ransomware attack. Keep your data backup on regular intervals so that you can regain your important data in the time of ransomware attack. You can keep the data on external drives or keep it on the cloud using Systweak’s amazing app called Right Backup.