What’s with all this talk about backup, or why it is essential that you have it

What’s with all this talk about backup, or why it is essential that you have it

With two major ransomware attacks in the last couple of months, there was much talk about how to protect computers and prevent infections. There was also a lot of emphasis on backup and how it could be a lifesaver. These attacks did a lot of damage, some victims felt impact more than the others but one good thing to come out of the recent events is that maybe cyber threats will now be taken more seriously by everyone, whether you are an individual user or someone who owns a business. It is not something that just happens to less computer-savvy people. With ransomware evolving and coming up with new methods to spread, it could happen to any of us. So it is becoming clearer and clearer that ransomware is here to stay. At least for a while, until it is replaced with something much more sophisticated.

What's with all this talk about backup

I won’t get infected, right?

That was the general assumption until recently. Many people were not even aware of what ransomware actually is. Unfortunately, many were faced with the harsh reality which is that we are all at risk. Certain ransomware may target specific people or companies but there are plenty of these threats for the rest of us. And it is very easy to get infected, as recent events have shown. You do not even have to do anything. By simply not patching your out-of-date software you could allow ransomware to take advantage of the vulnerability to enter your system, as was with WannaCry. Or software that you are using could be compromised and release a malicious update, which was the case with NotPetya. So updating and not updating could both lead to ransomware. Is it becoming clear that you will never be 100% safe from malware?

Malicious emails and careless downloads could lead to ransomware as well. It can be hard to differentiate a malicious email from a legitimate one, especially if your job involves  dealing with orders and customers via email. Email service providers generally block the majority of those infected emails from reaching your inbox but the occasional one does go through. It would land in the spam folder but someone who is not really aware of the dangers a malicious attachment could cause might open it out of sheer curiosity. And if you are someone who regularly downloads things from unreliable sources, such as Torrents, you are also at risk.

There are certain things you can stop doing to prevent infections but you will never be fully safe. So how do you prepare yourself for an attack that could happen at any time?

Backup. Backup. Backup.

Your probably have heard this word a lot recently and if you are still functioning without backup, you are tempting fate. Backing up all or at least the essential files is crucial. A lot of users learn the hard way how important backup could be, when it is already too late. Do not be one of them. There is a lot of information on how to choose the best option for you and a simple Google search will give you plenty to work with. Having backup will save you a lot of trouble if you ever get infected with ransomware or something that damages your files. Of course, your regular business will be interrupted until you remove the ransomware and recover your documents but you will not have to stress about what to do and whether you will ever get your files back.

You might argue that reliable backup options are too expensive but what you are not considering is that not having it could cost much more. Especially if you own a business. And for individual users, a simple external hard drive could store all important files until you can afford a more convenient option.

Paying the ransom does not mean you will get your files back

When users first see their important files encrypted, they panic and forget that they are dealing with criminals. They blindly pay the ransom without even considering that the hackers might not provide them with a decryption key. It is not a service where you pay and get something in return. You are paying the people who infected your computer in the first place. They really do not care about your files. So what is stopping them from taking your money and not giving you anything in return? A great example is the recent NotPetya attack. Whether you consider it a ransomware, wiper or a cyber weapon, NotPetya infected thousands of computers and some victims paid the ransom only to find out that decryption is not possible. For one, the hackers created a free email account for contact, which was closed after the attack began. Victims were supposed to send the criminals payment IDs so that they know whose files to decrypt. Later, malware specialists reported that generating a decryption key was not possible because the individual IDs, containing data necessary to make a decryption key, given to victims were just a load of gibberish. So the people behind NotPetya never intended to restore files. That is the harsh reality behind ransomware. You might get lucky and your files might be decrypted but that would be a rare case. And why risk it when you could simply have backup.

Ransomware is not going away. Neither are other kinds of malware. They are only going to advance from here on and the only way you can be sure you will be protected is by having backup of everything you do not wish to lose.

References

Site Disclaimer

WiperSoft.com is not sponsored, affiliated, linked to or owned by malware developers or distributors that are referred to in this article. The article does NOT endorse or promote malicious programs. The intention behind it is to present useful information that will help users to detect and eliminate malware from their computer by using WiperSoft and/or the manual removal guide.

The article should only be used for educational purposes. If you follow the instructions provided in the article, you agree to be bound by this disclaimer. We do not guarantee that the article will aid you in completely removing the malware from your PC. Malicious programs are constantly developing, which is why it is not always easy or possible to clean the computer by using only the manual removal guide.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.