Be prepared: How anti-ransomware can save you from potential financial loss

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If you think that you’ll never be hit by a ransomware attack, think again. In India, ransomware attacks grew by 31% amid the pandemic in 2020. One of the reasons for the spike is the rise in Work From Home (WFH) arrangements, where many Indians are working with poorly secured set-ups.

Unless proper safeguards are put in place, no one is immune to the risk of ransomware. To avoid any invasions of your personal data and potential financial loss through a ransomware attack, prevention is your best digital security strategy. This guide will take you through the basics of ransomware, how it spreads, and how best to guard yourself against it.

What Is Ransomware?

There are two main types of ransomware, namely locker ransomware, which locks your device or computer, and crypto ransomware, which restricts access to personal data and files through encryption. The objective is the same: preventing access to your personal files.

After holding a victim’s personal files hostage, the attacker then demands a ransom from them to regain access to the data, with instructions on how to pay for the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, payable to cybercriminals often through untraceable cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. This kind of malware can also have a built-in timer with a payment deadline, where the price to unlock the data increases with time.

How Ransomware Infections Happen and Spread Through the Web

One of the most common delivery systems for ransomware is spam email. It all begins with a seemingly well-intentioned email that contains malicious links or attachments. Once you click the link or download the attachment, a ransomware downloader is stored on the computer without your knowledge.

This ransomware downloader then copies the ransomware program to your system network through backdoor entry. When a device is successfully compromised, malware blocks the screen or encrypts data stored on the disk and a ransom demand with payment details is displayed to the victim.

How to Prevent Ransomware

Ransomware is considered the top threat amid the rise of cyberattacks in the Asia Pacific region. As ransomware is constantly evolving in the cybersecurity landscape, it is important to have safeguards in place to avoid becoming a victim. Here are a few tips that will keep you protected: Do not risk financial loss by becoming a victim of ransomware. Here are a few tips that will keep you protected:

  • Do not store important data in only one location. Create regular backups of it on another hard drive and in the cloud.
    • Adjust your browser's security and privacy settings for increased protection. Remove outdated plugins from your browser and use an ad-blocker to prevent the threat of malicious ads.
    • Avoid opening spam or suspicious emails from senders that you do not know. Also, never open or download any unverified links or attachments.
    • Always turn to trusted and verified websites for credible download sources. Such websites have trust markers that help you determine their authenticity.

    How Anti-Ransomware Can Help You Avoid Ransomware Attacks

    With ransomware becoming more prevalent in India, the need for protection against it has never been greater. It is essential to employ a top antivirus that has a comprehensive inbuilt anti-ransomware security feature like ESET Internet Security or ESET NOD32 Antivirus.

    An anti-ransomware feature performs an inhibitory function, by monitoring the system for suspicious behaviour common to all ransomware such as file encryption. It promotes system security by scanning the system for unexpected behaviour, such as a new software attempting to encrypt your files. ESET Advanced Memory Scanner lets you monitor the behaviour of malicious processes without any compromise in processing speeds.

    Anti-phishing also restricts emails that contain redirects to malicious websites designed to steal your personal data. Robust content scanning and email filtering serve to prevent any ransomware scams from reaching you and your family.