Ransomware Makes Data Backup More Important than Ever

Ransomware Makes Data Backup More Important than Ever

 This year’s big news in attacks on computers is ransomware. It’s malware which encrypts some or all of your files, making them useless. You can’t decrypt them yourself, since you don’t have the encryption key.

If ransomware hits your computer, you face a choice between paying criminals and losing your files — unless you have a fresh offsite backup.

The attack usually starts with a phishing email. If the recipient opens the attachment, it downloads software which proceeds to mangle your files. After it locks up your files, it displays a message demanding payment to unlock them. You’re supposed to pay in Bitcoin through an anonymous channel.

A local backup isn’t enough to protect you. Ransomware looks for attached disk drives and mangles them as well. To be safe, you need a backup that you can’t just read and write like a disk drive. An automated offsite backup will do the job.

Your backup software sends files to the remote site. After that, it’s hard to delete them, either by mistake or intentionally. It should run at least every hour, so that it’s never very far out of date. If a ransomware attack hits your computer, it’s still unpleasant, but you won’t lose many files, so you won’t have to pay an extortion fee.

Make sure to remove the ransomware from your computer before restoring files. Having to restore your files twice isn’t fun. Besides, the malware may do other things in addition to encrypting your files.

Offsite backup protects you against disasters of all kinds, including fires, floods, and catastrophic disk failure. It’s a good investment for anyone with files worth keeping.

To learn more about our IT services, from backups to complete system management, please contact us.