For scores of cyber criminals, launching ransomware attacks has evolved from a side-hustle into a full-time occupation. The word “ransom” inherently explains the nature of ransomware attacks, which can result in significant real-world consequences; financial, operational and otherwise.
For organizations worldwide, the stakes have never been higher. In 2020, average ransomware remediation costs exceeded $1.8 million, and in the United States, averages peaked above $2 million. If your system experiences a ransomware attack, ransomware remediation automatically becomes mission-critical. But why is it so expensive, and why is the process so complex? Get insights into ransomware remediation below.
Ransomware remediation refers to the process of removing ransomware from affected network systems. It’s a bit analogous to cleaning up an oil spill – it’s a gradual process, consisting of various sub-components, and every affected instrument must be attended to.
Ransomware remediation can be tough due to persistence mechanisms within the ransomware itself; enabling the ransomware to linger on systems without complete eradication. The most effective means of removing ransomware involves wiping the affected computer or restoring its contents from a backup. If this isn’t possible, seek out a resource guide designed to help organizations remove specific types of ransomware. You can also incorporate the steps listed below into your process:
How it works
Ransomware remediation is a multi-stage operation in most cases. Are you responsible for drafting or overseeing your organization’s ransomware recovery plans? You may want to plan on:
- Isolating infected devices. Stop ransomware attacks from spreading by segregating infected devices from the rest of the organization’s systems and services. To contain damage, turn off devices that have not yet been entirely corrupted.
- Identifying the infection. A cyber security forensics team can help your organization determine which type of ransomware a given organization is dealing with. Once organizations have this information, an organization can strategically plan a response.
- Investigating further. Leverage cyber security experts to determine which files have been corrupted, and where they’re located. A high degree of visibility into an attack can help organizations limit data loss and remediate persistent threats.
- Recovering files. For the majority of entities, removing ransomware from computing equipment represents the first part of the recovery process. Once the ransomware itself has been removed, organizations often want to focus on file recovery. However, this represents the more challenging component of ransomware recovery. Ransomware attackers gain revenue through the extortion of private data; entities may consider paying ransomware attackers for the safe return of files. Experts generally advise organizations to refrain from paying ransoms for data return. Instead, organizations can attempt to restore files from encrypted backups.
- Preventing future attacks. While restoring from backups may be possible, it’s can prove difficult. On this account, it’s best to focus on preventing ransomware attacks rather than counting on clean-up processes after attacks occur.
A comprehensive ransomware prevention strategy requires a compilation of cyber security solutions – a layered approach. These solutions include email security, endpoint security, mobile security, and more. For additional information about ransomware prevention, see our ransomware e-book.
One of the key components of successful ransomware remediation is the ability to quickly restore data from non-corrupted backups. To that effect, organizations should strive to maintain a comprehensive and multi-faceted data backup architecture.
Multiple types of data backup solutions and tools exist on the market. These include hardware appliances, software solutions, cloud-based data backup options, and hybrid data backup solutions. The industry-accepted backup standard, known as the 3-2-1 approach, involves storing data in three locations, on two types of storage devices, with one copy located off-site.
In the event of a ransomware attack, the continuity of your organization may depend on data backups. For more information about ransomware remediation and recovery, click here.
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