We’ve all been there, everything is running smoothly and then someone opens a bad email attachment. Suddenly, you’re locked out of all your systems, and you’ve been sent demands or ads or worse from an unknown source.
If your systems are being shut down from an outside source, often the best way forward is getting IT support onto the case to clean out any malicious data and then provide you with security options to avoid it happening again.
While prevention is always better than cure, and hindsight is 20/20 – that doesn’t really help right now…
What Exactly is a Crypto Virus?
A crypto virus or ransom where, happens when the software is installed on your system and once activated it locks you out. Then usually message is sent for you to pay money to get it unlocked or decrypted. Viruses can get installed in a variety of ways, such as opening attachments on an email or using foreign hardware (such as plugging in and opening a “found” USB stick.).
Crypto attacks are reasonably common, up to 35% of small and medium businesses (RMB) have been victims of a crypto attack and ransomware, with 22% of RMB’s needing to halt operations immediately to deal with the problem. This results in lost productivity and income.
Regardless of how it happened, the first step should be don’t panic. Don’t contact any numbers or emails that have been sent to you and certainly don’t give them any money.
Using IT Support to Get Your Systems Back Up
If you are the victim of a crypto attack the first thing you need to do is contact IT support and talk with their security specialist. They can assist you in removing the problem and have your systems up and running as fast as possible.
Not all crypto attacks will destroy your systems, and many are reversible if you know what you are doing. However, if you’re not 100% sure of the specific crypto attack, trying any DIY could damage your systems further.
If you’re lucky a recovery is possible without completing a full restore of your system. However, be prepared for that eventuality, as many attacks irreversible. Ideally, you’ll have a backup of your data, be it physical or cloud based and that can be used to restore as much of your data as possible.
Whatever the outcome from an attack is, getting help from an IT security specialist is your best option. They will fix your system in the most appropriate way and can help by reducing the possibility of a repeat attack.
Prevention is Better than Cure
Once your systems are fully functional it should be time to look for how the attack occurred and secure any weaknesses:
- Perform Regular Backups of Data; back up your data daily, this will limit the amount of data lost in any future attacks.
- Regularly Update your Software; software is patched to fix any security gaps that have been exploited by crypto virus criminals.
- Educate your Workforce; when people know what has caused the attack (like email attachments) they’ll be more alert to suspicious emails.
- Listen to Advice from IT Security Specialists; they’ll locate weaknesses in your system and inform you of ways to prevent further attacks from happening.
Getting Back on Your Feet
Don’t let one bad experience deter you from operating in the way you normally do. With your systems secured with software, employees on the lookout, data backed up and IT support at your call. Any further attacks to your systems will be minimal. However, computer viruses, like their organic cousins, are ever adaptable and you should remain ever vigilant against them.