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Ransomware is vicious malware that locks users out of their devices or blocks access to files until a sum of money or ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks cause downtime, data loss, possible intellectual property theft, and in certain industries a ransomware attack is considered a data breach.

There are different variants of ransomware; some ransomware is designed to attack windows PCs while other strains infect Macs and even mobile devices. Ransomware is highly effective because the methods of encryption or locking of the files are practically impossible to decrypt without paying ransom.

How to avoid Ransomware

The best way to prevent a ransomware infection is to not rely on just one solution, but to use multiple, layered, solutions for the best possible protection.

  1. Security Awareness Training:  It’s easier to prevent malware infections if you know what to look for. If you understand the latest techniques cybercriminals are using, the easier it will be to avoid. Know your enemy! Take an active approach to educating yourself by taking a security awareness training course.
  1. Internet Security Products to Prevent Ransomware:  There are many commercial products that will help you avoid ransomware and all malware infections, but understand that none of them are 100% effective. The cyber criminals are always looking for weaknesses in security products and promptly take advantage of them.
  1. Antivirus Software:  While antivirus is highly recommended, you should have multiple layers of protection in place. It is not wise to solely rely on antivirus software to keep your PC secure, as it cannot prevent infections from zero-day or newly emerging threats.
  1. AntiMalware Software:  Most anti-malware software like MalwareBytes is designed to run alongside Antivirus products, and it’s recommended you have both in place.
  1. Whitelisting Software:  Whitelisting offers the best protection against ransomware and other malware and virus attacks. Whitelisting software allows only known good software that you approve to run or execute on your system. All other applications are prevented from running or executing, including malware and ransomware.
  1. Backup Solutions:  In the event of a catastrophic event such as a malware attack, ransomware or complete system failure, it’s essential to have your data backed up. Many have been able to quickly and fully recover from a ransomware attack because their data was backed up and safe.

Source of Information

Information taken from the Knowbe4 website “A Short History and Evolution of Ransomware