Do not let ransomware authors win.
Ransomware is all over the news. A few months back, the Wannacry ransomware knocked out England’s hospitals’ computer networks. Staff told patients if they did not have an emergency, go home. Administrators there ended up giving the ransomware authors 300 Bitcoin dollars to reveal an encryption key that made the computers once again functional. I am advocating you do not reward these thieves.
What you need in place.
Yes, this is a bold claim. If you get hit by ransomware, do not give the authors any money. Dr. Jim follows this mindset. Dr. Jim runs a dental office in Sacramento. He feels, like I do, that nobody should reward these thieves.
Dr. Jim is ready. He keeps a ziploc bag with the original install DVDs for all his office computers. This includes MS Windows 10 and his proprietary dental lab management software. He also keeps track of his software downloads and website passwords. This includes his login credentials at Adobe, Microsoft and his backup service.
Suppose one of Dr. Jim’s workstations were infected. He would replace the drive. Solid State Drives with 1,000 GB capacity are currently available for $275. He would install the drive, install the operating system, download and install his mission-critical apps and restore data from his backup service.
Yes, Dr. Jim replaced the computer’s hard drive. The old one is a crime scene. He may have to give it to local police when they collect evidence against the thieves. Further, Dr. Jim may need to get data from this drive. He could connect this to another workstation as a slave drive and pull data from it. Of course, he needs to make sure that workstation has the software patches to inoculate it from the ransomware.
Dr. Jim sleeps well at night. He lives in the real world and realizes ransomware could possibly infect his workstation(s). With advance planning, he can remain in business without rewarding the ransomware authors.