Ransomware Prevention: Best Practices

Ransomware Prevention


In this technological era, we have gotten access to the best information processing systems. We always want the data on our computer network to be safe, reliable, and easily accessible. Unfortunately, ransomware prevention can compromise these lofty standards that we have set.

Malicious software can cause a lot of damage to an organization’s data. It can spoil the image of the organization, affect business operations, and cause further data breaches. ransomware prevention is an essential cyber skill necessary to avoid data loss.

Do you want to know how to prevent ransomware? Read on and learn this essential cybersecurity skill. Engage in these practices to protect your business data from cyber outlaws.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is an advanced type of malware in which the victim’s data is encrypted or locked. The cybercriminals keep the data hostage until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware can be very threatening for businesses. Failure to agree with the ransom terms can lead to exposure or indefinite loss of private business information. 

Ransomware penetrates an organization’s data by phishing emails, malicious websites, and corrupted websites. One typical ransomware example is to attack through a phishing email. In this process, an email is sent that lures the receiver to click a link or download an attachment. Upon clicking the link, the malware automatically installs on the device.

Then the malware infiltrates the network, searching for valuable information. Once the process is successful, the victim receives a message asking for payment in exchange for an access key. If the ransom is not paid, attackers threaten to damage the access key or expose valuable data.

How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks: Best Practices

Ransomware imposes cyber threats to firms and enterprises of all sizes. Knowing how to prevent these threats can be helpful to your business. Here are some of the best practices to help you in protecting your business from cyber scammers.

Network Segmentation

Once ransomware infiltrates your device, it takes some time for the malware to scan the data and reach the target. By segmenting and segregating your network, you’ll prevent hackers from advanced movement between systems and other devices.

In addition, make sure that the network’s subsystems have a different gateway and firewall, individual security controls, and unique access policies. Learn more on how to protect systems from ransomware.

By segmenting your network, attackers will have difficulty reaching the target data. It will take time for them to access valuable data. This time is enough for the cybersecurity team to discover the threat.

Run Security Tests on a Regular Basis

Security tests allow you to spot places in the systems with insecurities. Check the whole system database for any form of vulnerability.

Security tests aid in ransomware protection by inspecting various issues like:

  • Flaws in account privileges
  • Misconfigurations of system
  • Issues in staff behavior
  • Weak passwords
  • Weaknesses that allow the setup of backdoor programs
  • Problems with authentication mechanisms and operating systems, database errors that allow SQL injections, and unpatched firewalls and apps.

To be 100% safe, consider service providers with strong penetration testing methodologies. These tests entail real-life attempts to break into the system. Regularly run ransomware simulations to observe how your staff and cyber team respond to an attempted threat. 

Use Strong Passwords

Educate your staff on the significance of strong passwords. Avoid using weak passwords.

Ensure that all employees use strong passwords and that employees update passwords regularly. Remember, cyber attackers observe staff and try to exploit them.

To be more secure, employ a multi-factor authentication system that requires users to verify their identities before accessing any device.

Improve Email Security

To protect your email from phishing, and other social engineering tricks, ensure that your mail server can:

  •       Trash incoming emails with suspicious extensions like .sc, or .vbr.
  •       Easily ignore addresses of spammers or malware.

Fortunately, some technologies can protect emails. Examples are:

  •       Domain message authentication reporting and conformance (DMARC)
  •       Domain keys identified mail (DKIM)
  •       Sender policy frameworks (SPFs).

For additional protection, try deploying a third-party email scanning tool. A tool like this will protect your network by blocking ransomware attacks before the malware file spreads out to the primary data.

Set Up Ad Blocker

Use an ad blocker to disrupt pop-up ads on webpages. One of the primary sources of ransomware is the malicious market. To avoid this kind of cyberattack, using an ad blocker is a very effective method. So, make sure staff devices and systems have extensions that block pop-up ads.

Improve Endpoint Protection

This practice stresses protecting the network’s endpoints. These endpoints include mobile phones, laptops, and other internet-based devices.

Protect these devices from cyber-attacks by:

  •       Cautioning visits to risky sites;
  •       Checking for the device’s latest patch;
  •       Blocking traffic and apps susceptible to cyber-attack.

With good endpoint protection, admins get to see immediately the system is breached, allowing them to follow up and discover the threats. Learn more about endpoints protection to save you from monetary losses.

Update Software Patches

Be sure to update software with the latest patches to protect firmware, operating systems, apps, endpoints, firewalls, third-party software, and so on. For more information on these practices, learn more about ransomware here.

Ransomware operates like any other virus, allowing cyber intruders to adapt to the latest hacking method quickly. So, delaying updating the systems can be very dangerous.

Get a CASB

A cloud access security broker (CASB) is another practical approach to preventing ransomware attacks. If your enterprise uses a cloud system, CASB is the best way to counter cyber threats. This tool is cloud-based software that links cloud users to data. CASB helps by:

  •       Implementing security policies;
  •       Monitoring cloud activities;
  •       Securing data flow from setups to cloud environments safely;
  •       Ensuring compliance.

Set Up a Sandbox

A sandbox is an isolated environment that executes files and runs programs without interfering with the host network. It generally helps in cybersecurity by examining potential malicious networks.

When using a sandbox, it adds another level of protection against malware, mainly ransomware. It guides you on how to protect against ransomware.

Use Immutable Backups

Immutable backups work like any data backup. However, they are unique in the sense that valuable data stored cannot be deleted or modified. Using immutable backups is one of the best ways to protect your data. It ensures that:

  •       Your business doesn’t suffer a more prolonged outage;
  •       Data is not accessible to an intruder even if they reach the backup;
  •       You don’t have to pay the ransom to get the data back.

For maximum security, backup data multiple times with at least two backups and save one for offline access. That way, if you face a ransomware attack, you can clear your old system and recover the backup you have at hand.

However, using immutable backups will not protect all the data from cyber scammers. For safer use, employ other practices that can help with cyber threats.

Steps to Follow If Your Computer is Infected with Ransomware

If your company falls victim to ransomware, despite following the safety practices above, there are steps your cyber team can follow for data recovery.


Properly isolate the infected system immediately after realizing a breach has occured. Shut down the system, unplug the network cable, and turn off internet (Wi-Fi) access to localize the threat.

Malware Recognition

Following the isolation stage, find out the type of malware that affected the system. Hire a cyber consultant or IT team to identify the threat, if necessary.

Report the Breach

Many cyber regulations don’t allow you to report an attack. However, several authorities can provide outstanding expertise and solutions to your problems.

Annihilate the Malware

Remove the malware by uninstalling everything on the affected system and reinstalling the whole operating system.

Analyze Data Loss

Examine what data the intruder accessed and also check for data exfiltration.

Recover Data

After analyzing the data, restore clean data from the latest backup available on the device.

IT Forensics

Make sure the cyber team checks all IT environments for potential entry points the intruders leave behind.

Improve System Security

Find out how your data got breached and improve the security to ensure there isn’t another attack.

Should You Pay the Ransom?

It is not advisable to pay the ransom to get your data back. Paying the ransom fee will still incur the same risk, as there is no guarantee you’ll get the description key from the attackers.

Put yourself in a position where paying the criminals is not the only way to recover from the attack. These preventive measures should set you back on track after an attack.


Reacting fast to ransomware is an effective way to keep your business, customers, and employees safe. Use the practices above to create a reliable approach to staying ahead of cyber intruders.

These practices will help keep you in a protected position from criminals and save you from wasteful spending on ransom.

Start working on your business security today to avoid hackers gaining access to essential and confidential information and data. If you need assistance and guidance, learn more about ransomware.