Defend Your Data from Ransomware Attack

Imagine you are working late one night when an alarming message pops up on your computer screen. It says someone has taken control of your entire network and you no longer have access to any of your critical files, financial records, or confidential client accounts — unless you pay a fee. You have just become the victim of ransomware. Though it may sound like the plot of a spy thriller, ransomware attacks happen to millions of businesses, organizations, and individuals every year.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a category of malicious software, or malware, that locks users out of their systems unless they pay a ransom to the attacker. It works by encrypting system files so they are no longer readable. The victim must pay some form of compensation to regain control of their system and data.

Ransomware attacks usually originate from links or URLs embedded in email messages, or websites that utilize drive-by downloads to plant malicious files on a user's computer. In the case of the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak, attackers exploited a flaw in the Windows Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol to lock users out of their files and spread the infection to other users on the network.

After notifying the user that their system is compromised, the attacker will offer to unlock several files to prove that decryption is possible. Next, the user will be given a set amount of time to pay the ransom, which can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars. Even after payment is sent, there is no guarantee the cybercriminal will hold up their end of the bargain and the victim may never feel secure again. Meanwhile, valuable time and resources have been lost.

Fight Ransomware with ZyWALL USG Front-line Protection

For all the damage ransomware can cause, you are not defenseless in the fight against these online bandits. Several security options exist to protect personal and enterprise systems from being compromised. ZyWALL USG series provides comprehensive protection against potential ransomware attacks through features like anti-spam to block phishing emails, content filtering to prevent access to suspicious links, anti-virus to protect users from malware-infected files, and Intrusion Detection and Prevention (IDP) to detect and stop intruders from gaining control of your system.

Anti-Spam Blocks Unwanted Email

Anti-spam is the first line of defense in protecting one's system from ransomware by filtering out suspicious content with reputation-based email protection. Potentially harmful messages can be blocked before the recipient ever has a chance to open them. Real-time protection is augmented with automated sharing and updating to continuously monitor and report activity.

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Content Filters Secure Web Connections

As with anti-spam, content filtering cuts ransomware attacks off at their source. If a user accidently clicks a suspicious link, the URL is checked against a database of malicious sites. Databases are continuously updated to stay one step ahead of the cyber thieves. Zyxel ZyWALL USG products also offer SSL inspection to combat encrypted web traffic..

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Anti-Virus Stops Malware-infected Files

Anti-virus provides a third line of protection by thoroughly scanning incoming files for worms, Trojan horses, and malware with protocols such as SMTP and POP3.

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IDP Monitors Network Behaviors

Intrusion Protection and Prevention service is like having your own personal security guard who is constantly on patrol for abnormal behavior on your network. Zyxel IDP vigilantly watches for suspicious connection attempts and backdoor programs.

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Other Tips for Preventing Ransomware

When it comes to battling ransomware, the best defense is often a strong offence. Here are some tips to halt the ransomware bandits before they can ever get their hands on your precious data.

  • 1.   Backup regularly and always keep a recent backup copy off-site 

  •       You won't have to worry about ransomware threats, because you can easily and quickly restore your files or system to their pristine state.

  • 2.   Patch, patch, and patch again

  •       When you apply regular security patches, you give the cybercriminals fewer options for infecting your system with ransomware.

  • 3.   Be very careful about opening unsolicited attachments or clicking unfamiliar web links

  •       Opening an attachment in an email from an unknown source, or clicking on an enticing image or seemingly harmless advertisement can actually                   redirect you to a malicious website that may install harmful software.

  • 4.   Use anti-virus software on every client

  •       Always scan downloaded files. Anti-virus software can help keep your client device free of the most common malware.