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  • Writer's pictureMark van Vuuren

Ransomware Attack: Should I pay it or not?

Ransomware attacks are one of the biggest fears of companies today. Imagine having to use your business resources to pay cybercriminals. This is a reality that happens.

However, in case your company suffers a ransomware attack, what is the best option: To pay or not to pay the ransom? That is exactly what we will talk about in this article.

Keep reading and understand how to handle this type of situation.

What is a Ransomware Attack?

A ransomware attack consists of blocking data from computers and servers through encryption.

The hacker blocks this data and demands the payment of the ransom through a type of digital currency, such as Bitcoin.

The promise made is that the data will only be released when the ransom is paid.

How Does a Ransomware Attack Work?

One of the biggest risks to a company’s information security is cyberattacks, as hackers are aware of possible system security flaws due to data transfer between the various devices connected to the server.

The moment a hacker identifies a security loophole in the system, they prepare their attack.

As far as ransomware is concerned, computer files are encrypted and ransom is requested for the data to be released again.

It is possible to fix these flaws before hacker attacks happen through system updates, but this does not always happen in a timely manner and hackers are usually quite quick in their actions.

One of the ways to avoid ransomware is to keep operating systems always up-to-date, as malware easily invades when it perceives a system failure.

Another way ransomware attack can happen is through phishing which, in practice, occurs through an email sent with a strange attachment or code to your inbox.

This email arrives disguised as a known sender, such as an employee of the company itself, causing a person to open the attachment without so much suspicion.

By clicking on such an attachment, the virus gains access to all computers and devices connected to the system and the ransomware begins to encrypt the files until they are all taken “hostages”, and remain so until the desired payment is made to the cybercriminals.

It is important to mention that, although the hacker promises to release access to the data after payment, this may not happen, as these people are not trustworthy to simply believe their words without guarantees.

Learn How to Handle a Ransomware Attack

In case a ransomware attack happens in your company, you must immediately notify the IT team who will be responsible for finding the last backup performed on the system.

When it occurs at home, the ideal is to disconnect the computer from the network and look for a professional who is an expert in information security to help you solve the problem.

One of the ways to protect yourself from these hacker attacks is to have an antivirus in your system, always kept up to date, in addition to performing regular backups of your data, preparing for possible losses in the future.

To Pay or Not to Pay for a Ransomware Attack?

Experts on the subject defend the idea that not paying for ransomware attacks is the best option because, as already mentioned, cybercriminals offer no guarantee that they will release the data later.

In some cases of this malware, it is entirely possible to solve the problem with the use of a good antivirus, for example.

When it comes to recovering data such as personal photos, legal documents, medical reports, and such, you must decide between the risk of paying and getting them back or not.

In the end, the most appropriate way to avoid these hacker attacks is to keep your system constantly protected by antivirus and security tools that cover cyberattacks like this one.

Furthermore, it is important to keep backups always up to date and your data stored in the cloud as another secure way to protect yourself.

It is worth noting that making payment for this type of hacker attack may even be considered illegal, as threats to sell or disclose confidential information on the dark web is a form of extortion, which is a crime under the law, as reported on Welivesecurity.

This is one of the cases where relying on a company that specializes in digital solutions becomes essential for good performance and data security in your company.

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