Ransomware: What to do After an Attack

More and more news articles are popping up pronouncing the end of cybersecurity. If you have pertinent electronic information that can be hacked, know it's only a matter of time before you land yourself in the crosshairs of a cybercriminal. Whether it's because you left your Facebook open on a shared computer or clicked on a phishing link in your email, these days you're hit from all sides. It takes constant vigilance to keep your information safe, but security measures aren't perfect, and the day will come when you receive notice that you've been hacked.

When you get data breach insurance coverage with CyberPolicy, you guarantee yourself the financial resources to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. Don't let the anonymous hacker win!

Ransomware: The Not−So−New Cyber Threat
According to the FBI, ransomware (as of 2015) has become the most popularly used weapon in cyberattacks. How does ransomware infect your network? It all starts with an infected link.

For the sake of argument, let's say that you begin your morning work routine by checking and responding to emails. There's an email from one of your friends telling you to click on a video link that supposed to show a puppy trying to climb up a set of stairs. You click the link, but no video pops up. Instead, you're redirected to an infected website that in turn infects your work computer with malicious software or malware. Not only does it infect your computer, but now it's gone after your company's network.

Do you remember that scene in \"The Matrix Reloaded\" when they're desperately trying to protect their city from the vicious (and what can only be described as) mechanical jellyfish? It doesn't matter how hard they try to protect the bridge, the monsters still get in and wreaks havoc. That's essentially what ransomware is doing to your network: no matter how strong your passwords were or how often you checked the strength of your network, the hacker is still able to get in. The question is: what do you do after ransomware has infected your network?

Fighting for What's Yours
When ransomware has infected your computer, it blocks your rightful access to your files through encryption. Encrypted files require an electronic "key" for access. Cybercriminals who use this method of hacking demand ransom for the key. If you don't pay the ransom, they will destroy your files or release them to the public, whatever they feel will do you and your business the most damage.

Sound arguments have been made (even by the FBI) that you should pay the ransom in return for the key to unlock your files. If you run a small medical office or law practice, getting those files back by paying the ransom may be the only way to keep patient/client records private.

Don't believe in paying the hackers for the crime? Here are other steps to take:

  • Contact your cyber insurance company
  • File a claim with your cyber insurance company
  • Contact your patients/clients/customers about the breach
  • Have your IT team conduct routine network checks
  • Change all passcodes and log−in information
  • Encrypt your company's data to make it more difficult for it to get hacked
  • Set up rules with your staff about checking personal email accounts, social media and online purchases during business hours on business equipment

After you have personally seen to it that these new provisions are met by your staff, make sure that your data breach insurance coverage is up-to-date. Visit CyberPolicy today to make sure your coverage is up to code.

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