Ransomware Recovery In Chicago
Chicago Ransomware Recovery Services
Cyberattacks are continuing to increase in frequency. While targets were once limited to government or infrastructure, attacks against individuals and small to medium-sized businesses are increasing. An attack can paralyze an organization, and ransomware recovery in Chicago can be challenging.
What Is Ransomware and What Does It Do?
Ransomware is malware installed on an unsuspecting victim’s computer network or system by cybercriminals. Once installed, the ransomware effectively holds the victim’s information hostage by encrypting their data. The malware limits the individual or organization’s ability to access files, databases, or applications, causing systems to be unusable and interrupting their ability to perform tasks associated with those files or programs. Ransomware attacks typically spread through a network quickly and have the potential to paralyze an entire organization.
Ransomware unleashes a malicious binary on the system that searches and encrypts valuable files. As the malware spreads, it searches for network vulnerabilities to exploit and can affect your entire organization’s network. Ransomware and malware attacks can also exploit weaknesses that give access to other systems that you interact with, such as vendors, clients, and even government agencies.
After successfully shutting down your system, cybercriminals typically threaten to sell or make public the stolen data unless their ransom demands are met within the specified period. Unfortunately, if the victim’s files and data are not backed up or the backup data is compromised, the victim often has little choice but to pay the ransom.
There are many variations of ransomware, and the malware is continuously changing and adapting. Cybercriminals are constantly searching for weaknesses that they can exploit and use a variety of tactics, including spam email campaigns and targeted attacks. As a result, malware continually evolves as cybercriminals seek new methods and techniques to hack computer networks, making it challenging to keep your network secure.
Ransomware uses a cryptography technique that involves a pair of unique keys generated by the attacker. These keys encrypt and decrypt your files, with the private key needed for decryption stored on the attacker’s system. Restoring access to your system and files without this private key is nearly impossible.
What Are the Risks?
Officials estimate that ransomware generates billions of dollars for cybercriminals. Cybersecurity experts are warning individuals and organizations of all sizes that ransomware attacks are increasing around the globe. Research shows that cyberattacks increased by about 50 percent in 2021 and show no signs of slowing. Additionally, experts note that ransomware attacks are becoming more complex, and cybercriminals are more frequently targeting small to medium-sized organizations. There is growing evidence that many of these ransomware attacks are carried out by malicious nation-states, creating a new threat for today’s business leaders.
Several 2021 ransomware attacks that made the headlines are believed to be the work of malicious nation-states or their affiliated cyberattack groups. Major noteworthy attacks included a shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, interrupting fuel distribution across the East Coast, and an attack against JBS Foods, the world’s largest meat supplier, which resulted in a reported $11 million ransom payment. Noteworthy 2021 ransomware attacks also included Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles, compromising the personal health data of over 400,000 individuals and an attack on the Toronto Transit Commission, disrupting services and putting the personal data of thousands of employees at risk.
While significant attacks like these grab the headlines, the U.S. Department of Justice states that data shows that nearly 75 percent of all ransomware attacks are against small to medium-sized businesses. Federal agencies, officials, and security experts expect this trend to continue and are urging organizations of all sizes to expect and prepare for potential cyberattacks.
As part of its growing response to cybercrime, the U.S. government has taken steps to help protect American businesses and communities from the increasing threat of ransomware. The U.S. Government has developed a Stop Ransomware website to provide information and guidance to organizations. In addition, the website enables individuals and organizations to assess their ability to defend against and recover from ransomware incidents.
Recovering From a Ransomware Attack
A ransomware attack can cause widespread operational and logistical issues for your organization. Ransomware remediation, removing ransomware from affected network systems, is one of the worst-case recovery scenarios that your organization can face. The problem is complicated by the persistent nature of ransomware, which enables it to hide on networks unless wholly eradicated.
Ransomware remediation is typically a multi-stage process that involves:
- Isolating the infected devices. The first step in stopping a ransomware attack is to limit its spread by isolating affected devices and shutting down devices that have not yet been corrupted.
- Identify the malware. Using forensics, a cybersecurity team can determine the type of ransomware your organization is dealing with and then develop a strategic response plan.
- Further Investigation. A team of cyber security experts can determine which files have been corrupted and where they’re located, creating a high degree of visibility that can help organizations limit data loss and remediate persistent threats.
- Recovering files. For most organizations, ransomware removal from equipment is the first part of the recovery process. Once the ransomware is removed, the focus switches to the more challenging component of ransomware recovery, file recovery. Security experts generally advise against paying ransoms, as there is no guarantee that the cybercriminals will release the decryption key or that it will fully restore your system.
- Preventing future attacks. While restoring from backups is often possible, it can be difficult, so it’s best to focus on preventing ransomware attacks instead of counting on remediation processes after an attack.
How CEU Can Help With a Ransomware Issue or Recovery
Recovering from a ransomware attack is challenging. At CEU Technologies, we are cybersecurity experts committed to protecting businesses from cyberattacks and potential damage. Our team of experts has decades of combined experience and intimate knowledge of cybersecurity and ransomware attacks, enabling us to provide our clients with the solutions they need to keep their networks operating and safe.
As the Chicago area’s top-rated IT service provider, we will help to limit the impact of a ransomware attack on your organization. Our team is committed to limiting the amount of data lost due to an attack and the total time your system is unusable.
While restoring your network and securing it from further attacks is critical, a strong defense is the best solution for dealing with ransomware. At CEU Technologies, we offer our clients comprehensive cybersecurity services to keep their networks secure. Contact us today to learn more about ransomware recovery in Chicago and how we can protect your business from cyberattacks.