Believing myths about ransomware can leave you exposed to threat actors who will exploit any opportunity to infiltrate your network. To help demystify ransomware and help you better understand what measures you can take to mitigate your risk, we’ve debunked 5 of the most common misconceptions about ransomware attacks.
Myth # 1: Expensive software is all you need to stay safe
The human element of cybersecurity cannot be ignored in favor of a software-only approach. A threat specialist can provide context, decisions, and remediation actions that bare metal pen testing alone simply aren’t enough to protect you from today’s sophisticated cybercriminals who behave more like professional criminals than anything else!
It is important for organizations with valuable information or deep pockets; they will likely target specific places where their prey lives — this means round-the-clock monitoring through advanced sensors which pick up on unusual behavior patterns across various platforms (workstations/Smartphones). These people do exist but if we believe our press releases then maybe there would be more of them.
Even after a malicious link has been clicked, with the right team supporting you on the ground the attacker’s journey can be derailed, contained, and prevented from achieving its objective, thereby stopping or minimizing the impact on your business.
Myth #2: Cyber insurance will cover the cost of ransomware
Cyber insurance is a great idea for organizations and should be part of your risk management strategy, but it likely won’t cover the cost of a ransomware attack. That’s because most policies have sub-limits for ransom payments and/or exclude coverage for any kind of intentional act, like paying a ransom.
And even if your policy does cover the cost of a ransom, it’s important to remember that you’re still responsible for meeting the attacker’s demands, which could include providing them with sensitive information or access to your systems. This could have serious implications for your organization, both financially and reputationally.
Myth #3: Ransomware is only a problem for big businesses
Ransomware attacks are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, and small businesses are increasingly being targeted. 43% of all cyberattacks target small businesses.
One reason small businesses are such attractive targets is that they often lack the resources to properly protect themselves from these threats. They also tend to have less mature security programs and are often less prepared to deal with an attack, making them more likely to pay a ransom.
Myth #4: Antivirus software will protect you from ransomware
Antivirus software is designed to detect and remove traditional malware, like viruses, worms, and Trojans. However, it’s not effective against ransomware, which uses advanced techniques to evade detection.
Some antivirus programs can make you more vulnerable to ransomware by automatically opening email attachments or allowing macros to run without warning the user. This is why it’s so important to have a layered security approach that includes both traditional and next-generation anti-malware solutions.
Myth #5: You can remove ransomware by reformatting your hard drive
Reformatting your hard drive might seem like a quick and easy way to get rid of ransomware, but it’s not effective. Ransomware can infect your backup files, so even if you reformat your hard drive, you could still be at risk of having your data encrypted.
The best way to remove ransomware is to restore your data from a clean backup. If you don’t have a backup, you can try using a ransomware decryption tool, but these are only effective against certain types of ransomware.
Myth #6: Once you’ve been infected, there’s nothing you can do but pay the ransom
There are a few things you can do if you’ve been infected with ransomware, but paying the ransom should be your last resort.
First, you can try using a ransomware decryption tool, but these are only effective against certain types of ransomware.
Second, you can restore your data from a clean backup. This is the best option if you have a recent backup because it will allow you to avoid paying the ransom and losing any data that might have been encrypted since your last backup.
Third, you can negotiate with the attacker. This is only recommended if you don’t have a backup and you can’t decrypt the ransomware. You should never agree to pay more than the ransom amount, and you should only pay if you’re sure you can get your data back.
Finally, you can report the attack to law enforcement. This is a good option if you don’t want to pay the ransom or if you’re concerned about the implications of paying a ransom, like inadvertently supporting criminal activity.
Myth #7: You can prevent ransomware by avoiding suspicious emails
One of the most common ways ransomware is spread is through email attachments. Attackers will send out phishing emails with malicious attachments that, when opened, will infect your system with ransomware.
You can protect yourself from these kinds of attacks by being vigilant about the emails you open and the attachments you download. If you’re unsure about an email, err on the side of caution and don’t open it. And, if you do open an email, don’t click on any links or download any attachments unless you’re sure they’re safe.
Myth #8: You can tell if you have ransomware because your computer will act differently
In some cases, you might be able to tell if your computer has been infected with ransomware because it will act differently. For example, you might see a message on your screen that demands a ransom be paid or your computer might start running slowly.
However, not all forms of ransomware display these types of symptoms, so you can’t rely on them to tell if you have ransomware. The best way to know for sure is to run a scan with a reputable anti-malware program.
Myth #9: Ransomware only targets Windows computers
Ransomware can infect any type of computer, including Windows, Mac, and Linux. However, Windows computers are more vulnerable because they’re more commonly used and because there are more vulnerabilities in the Windows operating system.
That said, ransomware that targets Windows computers is more common, which is why it’s important to have a good anti-malware solution for your Windows computer.
Myth #10: You can protect yourself from ransomware by using a free anti-malware program
There are a lot of free anti-malware programs available, but not all of them are effective at protecting against ransomware. Some free anti-malware programs can even put you at risk by installing other malicious software on your computer.
Are You Looking For A Computer Security Service You Can Finally Trust?
Managed Technology Solutions, also known as ManagedTEK – IT Security Services & Monitoring, is a managed service provider that provides IT support and security solutions for businesses throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area. ManagedTEK, was founded on an urgency to empower and protect our community from the digital war on personal security and privacy. We focus and specialize in protecting businesses from falling victim to increasingly complex cyber threats. We use cutting-edge technology along with proven cybersecurity practices to provide support and protection for small businesses. Contact us today for your free consultation!