Ransomware is a type of malware designed to encrypt the files on a computer and demand a ransom for the decryption key. This type of malware has become one of the biggest cybersecurity threats faced by many organizations. For victims of a ransomware attack, both removing the infection and attempting to restore access to files are important parts of the ransomware recovery process.
Ransomware attacks can be very profitable for cybercriminals and are relatively easy to perform. For this reason, these attackers have developed a number of different methods for delivering this malware to users’ machines. Some of the most common ransomware delivery mechanisms include:
Ransomware attacks can be very damaging to individuals and organizations alike. Taking steps to close these potential infection vectors can have a significant payoff if it successfully prevents a future ransomware attack.
Recovering from a successful ransomware attack is a two-step process. Not only does the ransomware infection need to be removed but it is also worth trying to restore the encrypted files if possible.
As ransomware is a type of malware, a crucial part of the recovery process is removing it from the infected devices. If this step is not performed, then it is possible that the malware may continue to encrypt files on the device or spread through the network.
Ransomware commonly includes persistence mechanisms, which are designed to make it difficult to completely eradicate. Simply deleting the malicious executable is unlikely to completely remove the infection.
The simplest and most effective way to remove ransomware is to wipe the affected computer or restore it from a backup created prior to the infection. If this is not an option, search for a guide on removing that particular variant and follow the steps listed.
For most people, removing the ransomware from their computer is only part of the recovery process. Since some or all of their files may now be encrypted, they probably want to recover what they can.
However, this is definitely the more difficult part of the recovery operation. Ransomware operators make their money because people want their files and are willing to pay for them. As a result, ransomware is specifically designed to make file recovery as difficult as possible.
In all cases, making a copy of the encrypted files on an external hard drive or similar file storage is a good idea. While the ransomware’s encryption may not be breakable now, it is possible that that will change in the future.
While it may be possible to remove the ransomware malware from an infected system, restoring the encrypted files is a bit more difficult. Unless the ransom is paid, the files are backed up somewhere, or the ransomware author made a mistake, in which case the encrypted files are unfortunately unrecoverable.
For this reason, it is better to focus on preventing ransomware attacks rather than dealing with them after the fact. Due to the wide range of potential ransomware infection vectors, a comprehensive ransomware prevention strategy requires a number of cybersecurity solutions, such as:
Check Point offers a wide range of cybersecurity solutions that can help to detect and protect against ransomware attacks. To learn more about ransomware protection, contact us. You’re also welcome to schedule a demo to see one or more of our anti-ransomware solutions in action.