How to stop ransomware from spreading

blog cybersecurity

Ransomware is scary. Hackers infect your computer with malware and lock you out in an attack, charging a ransom before you’re allowed back into your systems. 

This type of attack follows a predictable pattern: a malicious actor finds a vulnerability that gives them access to a system, then sends out malware that spreads through connections, slowly infecting more systems until they achieve control. 

At this point, the hacker activates the malware, locks you out, and demands money. 

The key to stopping an attack is to limit a hacker’s opportunity to spread their malware throughout your systems. 

This article covers how ransomware attacks spread, common weaknesses, and how to stop ransomware from spreading.

Is there a way to stop ransomware?

The best way to stop ransomware is by keeping it from infecting your device in the first place.

You can do this by enacting common-sense security protections. Never click on suspicious links in emails and messages, as this is one of the most common ways hackers get access to a device.

Limit your use of ports in your data center, as hackers often target these forms of communication. It’s essential to limit peer-to-peer communication as much as possible to keep malware from spreading. 

Is ransomware a cybercrime? 

Yes, ransomware is a cybercrime. It’s illegal under federal law, and bills such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) give prosecutors tools to go after the hackers behind ransomware attacks.

 It’s also important to note that many data protection laws require private companies to meet specific standards when protecting consumer data from ransomware and other forms of cybercrime. 

Make sure you comply with these laws, or an attack can cost you in more ways than one!

How does ransomware spread?

Ransomware spreads through malicious communication such as phishing scams and drive-by downloading, where an infected site downloads malware without the user’s knowledge. 

It uses compromised websites and infected links to spread quickly.

How quickly does ransomware spread

Ransomware spreads extremely fast. Within minutes of downloading the infected software, you’ll be locked out of your files and data and asked to pay a ransom to get your information back.

When it comes to malware, you don’t have days or weeks to identify the problem: it can happen in a matter of minutes!

How does ransomware spread through company networks?

Advanced types of malware spread quickly through an organization’s networks by a mechanism called network propagation. 

These dangerous programs can use a network’s connections to take down all your company’s devices. 

The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is another popular target for ransomware. Since it lets administrators log in to devices remotely, it’s easy to spread malware from computer to computer using the same pathway.

Can ransomware spread through wifi?

Ransomware can quickly spread through wifi, especially if the password is weak or the router isn’t secured. Ensure you protect against this possibility by securing computers and routers with strong passwords and sound security systems.

Can ransomware infect cell phones?

Yes, phones are also vulnerable to attacks.

Hackers gain access through the same basic methods: sending texts with infected links, using false or infected apps, or taking advantage of other vulnerabilities. 

Make sure you’re vigilant on your phone and on your computer!

Can ransomware infect read-only files?

Read-only files are generally an excellent way to protect against ransomware, as hackers can only lock down files that a computer has direct access to. 

Within your organization, it’s a good idea to limit your file sharing to reduce the risk of malicious encryption.

Can ransomware spread through a VPN?

Advanced malware can go through a VPN, as it’s just a data encryption method. However, a VPN can help mitigate the damage from a ransomware attack.

How do I protect against attacks?

Be proactive! The best way to stop ransomware from spreading is to take preventative measures. 

Make sure all your employees are educated on the tactics used by hackers, including phishing attacks. Keep computers and networks password-protected, update programs regularly, and ensure you have security protection for your systems and devices.

Ransomware can be scary, especially if you’re not prepared. 

Hackers can quickly find vulnerabilities, spread malware throughout a system, and hold sensitive data for ransom. Fortunately, staying vigilant can help protect against many hackers’ strategies. 

Don’t let your business be held hostage!

If you need help assessing your security vulnerabilities, contact us today to see how our team of cybersecurity professionals can help your business stay protected against hackers, ransomware attacks, and phishing attempts.