Forgot password?

Best Practices for Ransomware Recovery



Ransomware continues to present a significant challenge to businesses across the globe, with recent industry reports highlighting a significant uptick in incidents over the last year. Looking at the stats, we can see that businesses have witnessed a dramatic increase in ransomware attacks, underscoring the need for robust recovery strategies.  

Over the last year, ransomware incidents surged by more than 55%. The rise is partly attributed to established ransomware groups like LockBit (before its disruption by the NCSC and international partners) and Cl0p, who have honed their strategies to exploit vulnerabilities with greater efficiency. 

The increase in ransomware attacks isn’t a problem in a specific region, but is a global issue. The United States remained the most targeted country in the world, accounting for nearly half of all ransomware campaigns. Following closely is the UK, Canada, and Germany, indicating a widespread threat across major economies. The manufacturing sector and critical national infrastructure emerged as the most affected sectors, showing how ransomware groups strategically target industries where they can cause significant operational disruptions and extract substantial ransoms.  

These escalating trends underscore the need for preparedness and effective recovery protocols to handle ransomware incidents. With attacks growing not only in frequency, but also in sophistication, implementing layered security measures, continuous monitoring, and effective response strategies becomes paramount for organisations worldwide. 

As IT and cybersecurity leaders, it is your responsibility to not only protect but also to empower your organisations with robust recovery strategies that mitigate the effects of ransomware attacks. In this blog, we’re going to delve into some key best practices for ransomware recovery, designed to ensure that you can regain control and restore operations with minimal disruption. 

1. Preparation and Prevention 

Before we discuss recovery, it’s crucial to stress the importance of proactive security measures. Ensure that your systems are regularly updated, utilise comprehensive backup solutions, and conduct regular phishing awareness training to mitigate the risk of successful ransomware attacks. Your workforce can be your frontline defence against attacks if aware of the latest attack vectors and educated on how to report suspicious activity promptly. You can utilise security tooling to monitor your network for unusual activity but for businesses without expert security teams, engaging with a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) to enhance your defensive strategies is a cost effective way to gain that expertise.  

2. Immediate Response 

Once a potential ransomware attack or successful breach is detected, the speed of your response can significantly reduce the severity of its impact. Isolate the affected systems immediately to prevent the ransomware from spreading to interconnected networks and devices. Disconnecting from WiFi, switching off network settings, or even simply unplugging physical network cables can be critical preventative steps. If you have an in-house team, you must notify your incident response team immediately and consider legal advice regarding the steps you need to take to advise customers of a breach, the authorities that need to be notified, and the implications of the attack, especially if sensitive data is involved. 

3. Assess and Analyse 

Understanding the variant of ransomware you’re dealing with is essential to be able to apply effective recovery techniques. You may be able to utilise decryption tools that can be effective against known ransomware families if you have the skills in-house to manage these tools. If a decryption tool or in-house expertise is unavailable, consulting cybersecurity experts who specialise in ransomware recovery can provide necessary insights and fast solutions, which could make all the difference in terms of financial and reputational impact.  

4. Utilise Backups 

Recovering data from backups is the safest way to restore your system without giving in to the demands of the attackers. However, it’s imperative to ensure that the backups are not infected by the ransomware attack. Verify the integrity and cleanliness of your backups before any restoration actions are taken. Regularly test your backup processes throughout the year and maintain offline backup copies that will remain unaffected by network breaches. 

5. Legal Compliance and Notification 

Depending on the nature of the data affected by the ransomware and the sector that your business operates in, you may be under legal obligations to notify certain regulatory bodies or individuals that their data has been compromised. Understanding the legal framework surrounding data breaches in your jurisdiction is crucial. Ensure compliance with data protection laws, such as GDPR, which may involve notifying affected parties and possibly the relevant authorities within 72 hours of data breach being discovered. 

6. Communication Strategy 

Transparent communication during a ransomware attack can help manage the situation effectively and is imperative for managing reputational impact. Communication reassures your clients, employees, and stakeholders that steps are being taken to mitigate the issue. Prepare a communication plan in case of a ransomware attack, that should include planning timely updates across all your platforms, keeping the messaging consistent and factual. 

7. Post-Incident Analysis 

After managing the immediate effects of a successful breach and ransomware attack, conduct a thorough post-incident analysis. This should aim to identify how the breach occurred, the entry points or vulnerabilities that were exploited, and any potential improvements in your networks, systems, applications or overall cybersecurity posture that are needed. This analysis is crucial for reinforcing your existing defence mechanisms and preparing for future threats. 

8. Ongoing Education and Awareness 

Continuous education and awareness are your best defences against future ransomware attacks. Regular training sessions for all employees can significantly reduce the risk of successful phishing attempts, which are often the precursors to ransomware. Industry reports state that 95% of all successful cyberattacks start with a phishing attempt. Stay updated on the latest cyber threat intelligence, such as QR code phishing, and share these insights across your organisation. 

Ransomware is a huge challenge for all businesses across the world, but with a structured approach to recovery, organisations can manage and mitigate the risks associated with these attacks. By focusing on preparedness, swift action, and thorough incident response and recovery procedures, you ensure that your organisation not only survives such an ordeal but also emerges stronger and more resilient. Ultimately, the goal for all businesses should not be to react to breaches, but to be proactive with cybersecurity measures and stay a step ahead of potential threats. 

Cyber Security Experts

Accredited and regulated, we're in the top 1% of cyber security agencies globally

Crown Commercial Service Supplier Cyber Essentials Plus ISO 27001 BSI ISO 9001 CHECK NCSC Cyber Incident Response CREST

We’re trusted by the UK Government as Crown Commercial Service providers as well as being accredited by two of the leading cyber security governing bodies. Our ISO9001 certification means you can rest assured our processes and approach are market leading.

Protect Your Business & Your Reputation.

With a continued focus on security, you can rest assured that breaches and exploits won't be holding you back.

Speak To An Expert


Get In Touch

[contact-form-7 id="5" title="Contact Us Form"]