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You’ve Been Infected with Ransomware; Now What?

Your files are suddenly unavailable. You clicked on a suspicious link. You were suddenly redirected to an unknown website. Is this it? The big one? Have you been infected with ransomware?

All businesses are at risk for ransomware infections, no matter how big or small they may be.

How to Know Your Network is Infected with Ransomware

Sometimes the signs that you have been infected with ransomware are as plain as a banner splashing across your home screen. Other signs are far more subtle and can involve files you are trying to open.

If you try to open a file in Windows, you may see the notification:

“Windows can’t open this file. To open this file, Windows needs to know what program you want to use to open it. Windows can go online to look it up automatically, or you can manually select from a list of programs that are installed on your computer.”

This doesn’t automatically mean your network is infected with ransomware, of course, but alongside other signs it can be an indicator.

File extensions, such as .jpeg, .doc and .pdf may be altered. If you spot unfamiliar file extensions, including .cryptor and .crypted, or a blank where the extension should be.

If you have missing files or can’t find files in your libraries, you may have been infected with ransomware.

Most obviously, if you receive a notification and a demand for payment, you have been infected.

For more tips on preventing ransomware, download the eBook Cryptowall, a free resource full of everything you ever wanted to know about this devastating cyber attack.

What to Do if You Suspect You’ve Been Infected with Ransomware

If you suspect your computer has been infected with ransomware, there are a few things you can do to try to mitigate the damage before it gets too far.

  • If you think your network has been infected with ransomware, it’s important to stop using the computer at once. Isolate it from the main network to stop the spread of the malware through your network.
  • Notify IT immediately.
  • Try to identify the ransomware family if possible. You may be able to do this by cross referencing file names, the message used, etc.
  • Your IT company may attempt to wipe the device and reinstall files and software. They may also have knowledge of the ransomware family and already have a decryption key available.
  • Notify authorities.

Chances are, however, by this point you should be planning on using your backup data to recover from the attack. Listen to the authorities when it comes to paying the ransomware and tracking the actors.

Preventing a Ransomware Attack

Baltimore Maryland’s school system ransomware attack came on the heels of several warnings regarding haphazard security. If they had updated security features in place, chances are the attack would never have happened at all.

Companies can invest in anti-virus programs, but many of these are easily overcome by a dedicated cybercriminal. Outsourcing your IT needs is a better way to protect your network, your employees, your reputation, and your data.

An MSP is a team of pros that understands the trends in ransomware, the latest threats and families of ransomware, and how to effectively block them from ever taking hold of your network. MSPs have access to cutting edge technologies and security features for your network.

MSPs will also make sure your data is safely backed up, meaning minimal disruption to your workflow you become infected with ransomware.

Since most cyberthreats are introduced to the network unwittingly by workers, employee education is a priority for MSPs. Employees need to learn to be watchful for potential cybercrime schemes as well as to be able to identify if their device has been infected.

Do you want to learn more about malware? Check out our in-depth Ultimate Malware guide and learn more about the threats to your network.

Iconic IT Can Help Prevent and Mitigate Ransomware Infections

Your business deserves the best protections, fueled by artificial intelligence and backed by a dedicated team known as a Security Operations Center. Find out how our cutting-edge cybersecurity platform, Iconic Fortify, will protect you from all threats, including becoming infected by ransomware.  Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation and put Iconic IT in your corner.

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