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Ransomware is one of the more dangerous threats out there today, and since it is so prominent and dangerous, it is a popular choice amongst hackers. To combat this threat, a community has formed around the cause, encouraging users to not pay the ransom by providing free malware removal tools for the most popular ransomware threats.
Europol, a European Union law enforcement agency, is in charge of this initiative, called No More Ransom. The agency has helped over 1.5 million victims of ransomware overcome the attack and recover their files without paying the ransom. These victims have saved an estimated $1.5 billion dollars, which is a considerable amount of money to keep out of hackers’ coffers.
No More Ransom began in 2016 in collaboration with the Dutch National Police and other cybersecurity and IT companies. It began with only four ransomware decryption tools, but now, they provide 136 free decryption tools to take on 165 different ransomware variants.
Still, ransomware is a problem, and the fact that it requires this kind of special attention means that you need to take it seriously.
Hackers use ransomware because it makes people pay up simply because it’s the easiest way to solve the problem. Unfortunately, it is rarely that simple, and even those who do pay the ransom suffer from unforeseen consequences.
Further complicating this decision is the fact that those who pay the ransom are effectively funding further attacks and reinforcing the fact that ransomware works. Simply put, hackers will be more likely to attack with ransomware if they know people are scared enough to pay up, and with more resources at their disposal, they can expand their reach and infect even more victims.
This is why we advocate for not paying the ransom. In the heat of the moment, it’s not always so clear, but we urge anyone infected by ransomware, businesses included, to slow down and consider the repercussions of their actions. There are situations where you might feel like you have no choice but to pay, particularly in double-extortion situations where the threat of online leaks of your data is imminent, but we assure you that you always have a choice in the matter.
If you become the target of ransomware, we suggest you call Preferred at 708-781-7110. We can walk you through the appropriate next steps to address ransomware on your network.
Granted, it’s easier to prevent ransomware in the first place than to deal with an active threat, so we also recommend that you outfit your network with top-notch security solutions. Compound these with proper employee and end-user training to minimize the possibility of ransomware striking your company. While there is never a guarantee, the odds of it crippling your business will be significantly less with these steps in mind.
Get started today by calling us at 708-781-7110.