Hackers are increasingly using ransomware as an effective tool to disrupt businesses and fund malicious activities.
A recent analysis by cybersecurity company Group-IB revealed ransomware attacks doubled in 2020, while Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that a ransomware attack will occur every 11 seconds in 2021.
Businesses must prepare for the possibility of a ransomware attack affecting their data, services, and business continuity. What steps are involved in recovering from a ransomware attack?
The first important step is to isolate and shut down business-critical systems. There is a chance the ransomware has not affected all accessible data and systems. Shutting down and isolating both infected systems and healthy systems helps contain malicious code.
From the first evidence of ransomware on the network, containment should be a priority. Containment and isolation can include isolating systems from a network perspective or powering them down altogether.
The business continuity plan and its disaster recovery component are essential to maintaining some level of business operations.
The business continuity plan is a step-by-step playbook that helps all departments understand how the business operates in times of disaster or other business-altering scenarios. The disaster recovery component details how critical data and systems can be restored and brought back online.
Many businesses may hesitate to do so, but reporting the attack to customers, stakeholders, and law enforcement is essential. Law enforcement agencies can provide access to resources that may not be available otherwise.
You will also need to consider compliance regulations. The GDPR, for example, provides businesses with a 72-hour window to disclose a data breach involving customers’ personal information.
The best protective measure you have for your data is backups. However, restoring large quantities of data can be time-consuming, forcing the business to be offline for an extended period of time.
This situation highlights the need to discover and contain ransomware infections as quickly as possible to reduce the amount of data that needs recovering.