Ransomware Strikes! 6 Urgent Steps


A Guided Approach to Managing a Ransomware Crisis

You just came to work after a long, wonderful weekend, still carrying the light-hearted feel of relaxation. You sit at your desk, ready to tackle the pile of tasks that awaited your return. Coffee in hand, you log into your computer, expecting the usual flood of emails and meeting reminders. Instead, the screen flickers unnervingly and then freezes. Confusion turns to alarm as an ominous message replaces your desktop wallpaper: “All your files are encrypted. Payment is required for decryption.”

A sinking feeling settles in your stomach. You’re staring at a ransom demand, a stark red timer counting down. This isn’t just a technical glitch; it’s a ransomware attack. Our systems, critical to our day-to-day operations, have been hijacked. The realization hits hard and fast—every minute wasted could mean more damage. This is a situation where immediate and decisive actions are vital to mitigate the impact, begin recovery, and protect our organization from a significant threat that has just turned a normal business day into a high-stakes crisis. Here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1: Isolate Affected Systems

Immediately disconnect the affected devices from all network connections, whether wired, wireless, or mobile. This isolation prevents the spread of ransomware to other devices on the same network. Remember, time is of the essence to avoid further infiltration.

Step 2: Photograph the Ransom Note

Take clear photographs or screenshots of the ransom note. This evidence is crucial for forensic analysis and future legal processes. It will also be vital information for the security team to understand the nature of the ransomware used in the attack.

Step 3: Notify the Security Team

Inform your internal security team or outsourced cybersecurity provider about the incident. Provide them with as many details as possible, including the ransom note, details of affected systems, etc. Quick reporting helps in initiating an effective incident response.

Secure Your Network Before It’s Too Late!

Don’t wait for a breach to find out your vulnerabilities. AnchorSix provides a free, thorough ransomware audit to identify and fix security gaps, ensuring your business remains protected (over $2,500 in value). 

Step 4: Initiate Threat-Hunting Activities

Your security professionals should begin threat-hunting activities to identify any traces left by the attackers or additional systems that may be compromised. This process involves checking logs, running malware scans, and identifying the entry points of the ransomware.

Step 5: Eradication

Once the source and extent of the infection are identified, the focus shifts to eradicating the ransomware. This step may involve system cleanups, applying security patches, or more drastic measures like reformatting hard drives and reinstalling operating systems.

Step 6: Recovery and Post-Incident Activity

Begin restoring data from backups if available. Ensure that all restored systems are clean and closely monitored for any signs of compromise. It’s also time to analyze the attack: understand how it happened, assess the response effectiveness, and implement lessons learned to strengthen defenses.

Forge Ahead with Confidence

Recovering from a ransomware attack is not just about technical steps; it’s also about maintaining business continuity and safeguarding your reputation. Taking proactive measures, such as regular backups, staff training on cybersecurity best practices, and a well-drafted incident response plan are indispensable.

Don’t wait to be a victim. Take a proactive step today by signing up for a complimentary Ransomware Audit with AnchorSix to learn how acceptable your business is to a cyberattack.

About AchorSix

With over 20 years of unwavering INTEGRITY, PROFESSIONALISM, and GENUINE CARE as our foundation, AnchorSix is dedicated to simplifying technology while ensuring its security and reliability for our valued customers. We are recognized for our standardization, efficiency, and proactive approach, ensuring the success and satisfaction of our clients. Our integrity, accountability, and passion for technology make us a leader in our field, dedicated to delivering unparalleled service.