How to Survive a Ransomware Attack as a Small Business

Jamie Kavanagh
July 18th, 2022

Ransomware is on the rise. As the world faces recession and increased hardship, that rise will likely accelerate. As a small business, what can you do to survive a ransomware attack?

Your main challenge is likely a lack of expertise and resources.

Large enterprises will have specialists on staff who can address malware and actively fight it off. If they don’t have such experts in house, they partner with an organization to protect them.

That’s far out of reach for the average small business. So how can you survive a ransomware attack?

Getting ahead of the game

Your first task is to set up a backup regime. You can do it for free if you like, but we recommend a premium backup service that uses strong encryption and secure storage.

Create a full copy of your system, and set it to incrementally and regularly make backups.

If you depend on your systems continuously with no breaks, back everything up as often as possible, even hourly. For people who don’t depend on computers quite so much, you can probably set it to daily.

With this basic precaution in place, if you get infected by ransomware, you can wipe your system and restore the latest copy without having to pay.

The most you’ll lose is an hour or day of work.

Alternatively, you can buy a good quality router with a firewall, and make sure it’s always running. Use software firewalls on your computers to add another layer of security.

Use a password manager to keep all your system passwords secure, and use two-factor authentication for your critical applications.

Never pay the hacker

The problem with most ransom situations is that there are no guarantees the victim will be released even if somebody pays. In the case of ransomware, it’s always better to not pay as it only encourages them to attack others.

Check online as many decryption keys for popular ransomware are published on the internet. If you find a key, try to unlock the ransomware yourself to restore your systems.

If it doesn’t work, remove the system from the network by unplugging the ethernet cable, and wipe the system completely using DBAN.

After that, just reload the operating system and restore your system using your backup.

It should take less than 2 hours, and will restore your systems back to working order without having to pay anything.

The key to being able to do this is having backups in place. If you don’t have a backup, we strongly recommend setting them up - right now!

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