Back Ups Aren’t Enough and Here’s Why

Back Ups – The Reactive Approach

Ransomware strikes and your files are locked, and will remain locked unless you pay the ransom demand.  What if you don’t want to pay?  Back ups can be an effective way to replace the encrypted files, thus avoiding having to pay the hacker’s ransom demand.  However, this is only effective if the back ups are up to date, and have not been encrypted.  In certain cases, businesses have still paid the ransom, even when their data was backed up, because the time and manpower to restore the systems would be more costly than paying the ransom.

As ransomware becomes an increasingly popular method of malware attacks, the hackers are likely to find ways to get users to pay up, even with back ups.  It won’t be long before back up files are targeted and encrypted as well.  It is also fair to speculate the hackers will threaten to expose your files if you don’t pay up.  Many businesses, cannot afford files to be exposed.  Whether it intellectual property, business financials, or patient information — the cost for these files being release is incredibly high, higher than paying the ransom.  This is exactly what the hackers know and will exploit.  This is why back ups aren’t enough to protect against ransomware.

Time for Prevention

Ransomware is out of control.  In 2016, hackers received an estimated $1 billion in paid ransoms.  Ransomware attacks are only going to get more sophisticated.  It is time to prevent them, instead of reacting to them.  But the question is, how?  How do we prevent ransomware from infecting business and home users?

  1. Use a security solution that implements application whitelisting technology.
  2. Ensure all of your programs and operating systems are up to date.
  3. Monitor and edit administrative rights to what include only what is necessary.
  4. Increase education on current cyber security threats, and red flags to assist in spotting an attack.
  5. Perform penetration testing to identify any existing vulnerabilities.
  6. Disable macros.  Many malicious attachments require macros to be enabled in order to infect your PC.

It is important all of these things are taking place to effectively prevent ransomware attacks.  As stated before, we cannot rely on reactive approaches to modern cyber threats.  It is time to start preventing them.

To learn more about how you can prevent a ransomware attack against your business, click here.  If you’re a home user, and need advanced protection against today’s malware attacks, learn more here.



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11 thoughts on “Back Ups Aren’t Enough and Here’s Why”

  1. BaliBob.
    Thanks for our reply.
    I have w10 on 2 machines. One started with 7 and the other with 8.1…….w10 was Free?…

    didn’t stop the malware and have used PC MATIC with Super Shield since it was available. It is great!.
    I used support and had the code in 20 minutes to remove it. Works on both machines.
    Silly I clicked on a picture on MSFT home page. Screen locked with a 800 # to call
    3 finger salute and different HJD inserted. Hat these people.

    PC MATIC said it is a revolving malware.
    I would be interested how you fixed it on 8.1.

    1. @Ken My problems started with purchasing a computer here in Bali with a fake (copy)
      of W8.1 which, of course had no Windows Defender – in fact nothing but a doubtful
      Firewall. CryptoLocker tricked me into opening a Firefox update – you know the one
      it comes up bottom right giving one the option to update now or later. As Firefox had
      been sluggish that day (we all know why now) I clicked on ‘Now’ for the first time I
      can remember and was rewared with a white picture frame all around Yahoo Mail. Thought
      it strange – clicked on it and the fun began.

      As nothing would persuade me to Bitcoin these fu—-s – I went hunting for an unopened
      W8.1 here in Bali – which are as rare as hens’ teeth these days – because it is good and
      still very popular – and was lucky enough to find one in an HP stockist.

      Completely wiped my 1TB HD with a Seagate disk a number of times and then downloaded
      the new disk’s contents wihout any problem.

      So cannot be proud of myself because it was all done for me by Seagate and HP’s last
      copy available hahaha.

      BUT I did learn another lesson as a result of this – terrified of another attack because from
      whence RansomLocker came I do not know because I am extremely careful – I accepted
      MalwareBytes special offer (a two-in one) because I had always used MB since they were
      born and opened another can o’ worms. Here in Indonesia the majority of us use modems
      to get online for the Internet. As soon as downloaded I found that I could not get on to the
      Internet no matter how much money I spent or ways that I tried. Trusting MB as I always had
      did not dream it was them. In fact I thought I had a leftover from Crypto. It appears that the
      MB software has a very fussy filter – non of the local experts could help me – so I had to dig
      deep – very deep – into my Firewall down to its DNA. After much sieving the various pcs
      of data a suggestion was tendered about the said filter. Though Nah – that can’t be it??!!
      Then two or three days later I thought I would check Google to see if it knew this piece
      of code. WELL I NEVER – thousands of thousands of poor sods like me were in the same
      boat complaining about their modems, etc., not working in connection with the new offer
      from MB. EUREKA after completely uninstalling every thought of MB from my machine
      using the best there is – RevoUninstaller – my pc performed like a dream – so fast – so lovely.

      The thing that aggravates me – after so much wasted time and a lot of expense – to this day
      Malwarebytes has NOT APOLOGISED !!!

      If my memory serves me well – PCMatic’s Supershield insists on all my previous anti-malware, etc., be
      removed – so I did not accept their offer.

      1. I have Revo Pro. It is a of great help.
        Sorry to hear of your troubles and your source is the problem.
        I am using 10 which was free! Almost? If you want to use MSFT Office it is a yearly or monthly charge. NO Disk. Just a D/L and you cannot cancel????
        I have never been to your part of the world but have seen many pictures. Beautiful!!!
        Hope you work out your problems with 8.1

        1. @Ken,

          I no longer have any problems with W8.1 – works like a dream – remember, Malwarebytes
          caused the problem with its software?? Before that CryptoLocker which started the
          mayhem. I love 8.1 cannot fault it – to think, I never wanted to leave XP hahaha.

          1. @rob
            good to hear from you
            many of us stayed too long with XP?
            10 is a little better than 8.1, however I had little time with 8.1.
            As to Malwarebytes I cancelled it when they messed with PC MATIC as malware.
            I never had the need for it, but it was highly recommended.

      2. @BaliRob:
        PC MATIC is the best I have found.
        Revo is another great app.
        You are on dial up?????
        Your computer must have ATA drives? I still have a n IDE machine with DOS. I can use the HEX Editor to look for ways to screw up malware I can find. I mean pUPS. they end up in my D/:L folder.

  2. I like the approach PCMatic takes with randomly throwing out prevention measures to keep from getting ransomware that the average end user has no idea how to implement. Tested backups are the ONLY way to get your data back unless there is a decrypt method that happens to work on your variant….not likely. I am really not taking anything printed on this site as useful information since it is being written by marketing types trying to drum up business with scare tactics. Cmon PC Pitsop, no one really takes you seriously.

    1. @Rockn: I don’t see PCMatic as “scare tactics” they give information if you can’t figure out how to use it then you get a computer guy/girl and ask for assistance; as to the steps they suggested

      1.Use a security solution that implements application whitelisting technology.
      This one, ok self serving for sales but that does not make it untrue.

      2.Ensure all of your programs and operating systems are up to date.
      Good advice for anything, unless there is a specific reason that you are not updating a specific program or operating system

      3.Monitor and edit administrative rights to what include only what is necessary.
      Home system probably not a big deal, business system this should already be getting done

      4.Increase education on current cyber security threats, and red flags to assist in spotting an attack.
      Home system you just did it (good job); business IT people should be on top of this

      5.Perform penetration testing to identify any existing vulnerabilities.
      Not practical for home user, for businesses, good suggestion

      6.Disable macros. Many malicious attachments require macros to be enabled in order to infect your PC.
      Here is a winner Macros make things easier, not just for you but for the hackers too

      I would suggest that if you don’t like the messages from PCMatic then you should unsubscribe

  3. As usual we are left holding the bag.
    Here is the answer.
    Can U afford an extra HD?
    Over the last 2 years I bought 3 and put operating systems on them.
    All U have to do is replace drive 0. The first or only HD.
    My last system had room for 3 HD’s and also use an external as my cloud.
    Then do a restore and in less than 20 minutes U have fixed the problem.
    Next put the locked HD in as the second drive and wipe it 9 times,
    I use Paragon Hard disk Manager which lets you do all sorts of things that disk utilities doesn’t.

    1. ‘Ken – thank you. A very constructive approach to our problem (I have been hit once and purchased a
      new W8.1 to solve the problem) more than I have seen to date which is very well outlined.

      The external must be heavily emphasised but I like the simplicity even though somewhat expensive – the
      cost in anger and wanting revenge cannot be quantified but on one’s health surely does not exceed
      the cost of 3 x 500GB HD’s. The cost of the W1.8 was more than the three HD’s you purchased.

      1. @BaliRob: Where you live I imagine things are expensive. I have 7 terabytes in the computer. 2 T on the shelf.
        A 2 T HD (good one from Western digital or Seagate can be found on Amazon for under 265$

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