How a business can recover from a ransomware attack

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Finance and Business

Ransomware incidents are on the rise in Canada. It is a type of malware (i.e., malicious software) that locks users out of their systems and accounts until a ransom is paid. While we can try our best to prevent ransomware attacks, there’s always a chance it could impact you or your business. Here’s how to recover if you’re hit.

Do not pay
There’s no guarantee you’ll regain access to your systems or information after paying the ransom money. On top of that, you’ll be known as a target who paid up and could be good for more money – and more disruptive attacks – in the future.

Isolate and consult
Disconnect your devices from the internet to help stop the ransomware from spreading over your network and connected devices. If sensitive information and systems, such as payroll or client details, were only accessible to select employees, that may limit how much cyber criminals can steal. Calling in an expert can also help you remove the ransomware and help you understand the level of damage that’s been done.

Reset and update
Before you can get back to business, wipe your networked devices of all their data and reset them entirely. Look at the web addresses or the types of files the attackers are using to get into your systems. Update your software to ensure you have the latest security patches and plug-ins in place and turn on automatic updates. Any affected online accounts and systems also need to be reset with new strong and unique passwords. Where possible, turn on multi-factor authentication. These steps help prevent attackers from returning to your system.

Review and report
It’s critical to regularly revisit company processes and procedures as technology changes. It’s even more important after any cyberattack, especially if sensitive, personal or financial information has been stolen. Communicating what went wrong and how you are recovering may help you regain some goodwill from customers, business partners and employees.

To help prevent other businesses from becoming victims of a ransomware attack, be sure to report it to local police, to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre and to the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.

While there’s no surefire way to entirely prevent an attack, there are plenty of ways to make them less likely and to limit the damage should your business get hit.

Learn more about what you can do at getcybersafe.ca/ransomware

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