Should Your Business Just Pay The Ransom?
When faced with a ransomware attack, it can be tempting to give in to the ransom demand and pay the money to regain access to your data. But this is generally not a good idea for several reasons. First, paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will get your data back – many cybercriminals take the money and disappear, leaving you empty-handed. Additionally, giving in to a ransomware threat might make you a target for future attacks, as hackers will view you as an easy target who may be willing to pay each time they assault your system.
The best option when facing ransomware is always to consult with experts – top IT professionals can help you to defend against attacks in the first place. They can also provide guidance on adequately responding if hackers compromise your system. Whether through software updates or systems precautions, there are many ways that professionals can help you prevent or mitigate a ransomware attack. And even if such an attack occurs despite all your efforts, there are methods for regaining access to your data without succumbing to criminal demands.
Ultimately, then, by taking proactive action and consulting with experienced IT professionals, it is possible to avoid giving in to ransom demands and recover from a successful ransomware attack without paying a dime.
Top IT professionals from across Canada and the US offer advice on why paying the ransom is terrible.
You May Never Get The Decryption Key
Ilan Sredni – Palindrome Consulting
When you pay a ransomware demand, you’re supposed to get a decryption key. But when you conduct a ransomware transaction, you depend on the integrity of criminals. Many people and organizations have paid the ransom only to receive nothing in return—they’re then out tens or hundreds or thousands of dollars, and they still have to rebuild their systems from scratch. As a result, paying a ransom is often not a good idea.
You are at the mercy of criminals, but you’re also likely to end up losing money without getting your data back. It’s better to invest in security measures to prevent ransomware attacks in the first place. And if you do find yourself the victim of an attack, focus on restoring your data from backups rather than paying the ransom.
The Chances Of A Repeat Ransomware Attack Go Up
Katherine Conner – RetroFit Technologies
Paying a ransom is no guarantee that you’ll get your files back. Once the criminals know you’re willing to pay, they may demand even more money. And if you don’t have the money or refuse to pay, they may delete your files or release them publicly. They may continue to encrypt your files and hold them for ransom indefinitely. So, even if you pay a ransom, you’re not out of the woods yet. You’re at the mercy of the criminals, and they may not give you your files back even if you’re willing to pay more. So, think twice before paying a ransom. It may not be worth it in the end.
You May Get A Decryption Key That Sort Of Works
Anthony Buonaspina – LI Tech Advisors
When you become the victim of ransomware, you first want to know how to get your files back. After all, that’s what you’re paying the criminals for. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. The creators of ransomware aren’t in the business of file recovery; they’re in the business of making money. The decryption key you receive may not be strong enough to recover your files fully.
In some cases, the encryption process itself can damage files beyond repair. If this happens, even a good decryption key will be unable to bring your files back—they’re gone forever. So before you pay the ransom, make sure you understand what you’re getting yourself into. There’s no guarantee that you’ll get your files back—and even if you do, they may not be completely intact.
Your Business Will Have A Target On Its Back
Krystal Triumph – Atlantic-IT.net
Many businesses decide to pay the ransom to recover their sensitive data despite the risks. After all, what choice do they have? If they refuse to pay and lose the information permanently, they stand to lose far more than the ransom amount. However, many business owners fail to realize that once you’ve paid a ransom, you’re essentially making yourself a target for future attacks. By showing that you’re willing and able to pay, you’re sending a clear message to criminals that you’re an easy mark – and there’s no reason for them not to go after you again in the future. Therefore, businesses must ensure that their cyber protections are strong enough to withstand any attack, no matter how sophisticated. Only by protecting themselves from the start can organizations avoid getting hacked again in the future.
Your Funding Criminal Activity
Landon Futch – Essential Solutions
When it comes to ransomware, the best-case scenario is the worst-case scenario. Paying the ransom may seem like an easy way to regain access to your critical data and resume normal business operations. Still, it only serves to reinforce a dangerous business model that fuels criminal activity. Because ransomware is often profitable for cybercriminals, they will continue to put out new and more sophisticated attacks to entice victims into paying. By taking this approach, they can stay one step ahead of efforts by government agencies and law enforcement organizations to stop them. Thus, if we continue paying our ransoms, we effectively enable these criminals and encourage their bad behavior. However, if businesses band together and refuse to give in to extortion tactics, we can help disrupt this problematic cycle of digital exploitation. After all, standing up against cybercrime is much more complex than it sounds – but it’s certainly worth a try!