Does Encryption Prevent Ransomware?

Unfortunately, cybercriminals are continuing their rampage across America with no signs of slowing down. In fact, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received a record number of complaints throughout 2021. According to their official 2021 report, the IC3 logged 847,376 complaints from the American public, and calculated losses exceeding $6.9 billion. Ransomware, business e-mail compromise (BEC) schemes, and the criminal use of cryptocurrency rank as the top incidents reported.

Of course, the exponential increase of ransomware attacks is a very worrying trend for US business owners and the American public at large. Just in the past five years, 2.76 million complaints have been filed with the IC3 and $18.7 billion has been lost to cybercriminals.

So, what can companies do to protect themselves against this remarkable threat? Encryption is just one of the many safeguards a business should use in the face of inevitable ransomware attacks. Although no single solution can completely protect you from an attack, data encryption is a key component to creating a comprehensive data protection strategy. Data encryption software and ransomware data recovery services are critical to developing security protocols that prevent malicious parties from taking control of your sensitive data.

But how secure is encryption? How do cyber criminals use encryption against you? And how can ransomware protection as a service (RPaaS™) provide the comprehensive protection you need?

Can Ransomware Attack Encrypted Files?

In short, yes. Ransomware can technically attack anything, at any time. However, encrypting sensitive files helps prevent attackers from gaining access to that information. It also prevents an attacker from using your information, should your files fall into their hands during a breach. So, how does encryption work to protect your data? Here’s a simple breakdown:

  • Application Whitelisting: Choosing a data encryption solution that includes application whitelisting blocks malware from entering your database by specifying which files and software applications are allowed to perform specific tasks.
  • Access Control: In addition to application whitelisting, access control allows you to define who can access what information and limits what each user can do once that information is accessed.
  • Encryption Keys: Encryption keys are created with algorithms that allow them to scramble and unscramble your data and files. Once your information is encrypted using the above methods, an encryption key is applied, making the information useless to any cybercriminal.

Lastly, we should note that encryption alone cannot secure your data. Any business or individual should follow all data security best practices in order to maintain a strong defense against cybercriminals.

How Do Cybercriminals Use Encryption?

Unfortunately encryption is a two way street, and cybercriminals can use it to their advantage. So, how does ransomware work? Cybercriminals often use encryption to conceal stolen information from their victims, and launch attacks. These attackers often use encrypted digital channels to infect their victim’s machine. These channels include:

  • Compromised sites
  • Phishing pages
  • Malvertising attempts

Once the criminal has control of their victim’s machine, they will then encrypt the stolen files and data, and hold that information for ransom. But what can be done once this happens?

Can Ransomware Encrypted Files Be Recovered?

Sadly, some forms of ransomware are undecryptable, making that information extremely difficult to recover. However, using a ransomware data recovery tool or decrypt tool, most ransomware encrypted files can be recovered. The first step in this process is to identify the type of ransomware that has hold of your data. You can do this by comparing your ransomware note to other examples on the internet. After you have identified the type of ransomware that has affected your device, you should begin searching for the decryption tool that is compatible with whatever type of ransomware your attacker is using. However, a word of caution, some sites claiming to have free data recovery or decryption tools are actually malicious and can infect your computer.

Ransomware Protection as a Service: A Comprehensive Solution

Handling a ransomware attack and retrieving your information is a very tedious, difficult, and often distressing undertaking. That’s why we created the industry’s first and only holistic approach to ransomware threats—Ransomware Protection as a Service™ (RPaaS™). InterVision’s RPaaS solution delivers end-to-end cyber attack protection with:

  • Layering hardened endpoint protection and SIEM
  • Immutable backups
  • Secured cloud recovery
  • Support from certified security and disaster recovery experts who monitor and respond 24/7

Each part of our solution works together to prevent attackers from accessing your information, and fully restore your data and operations in the rare event of a breach. Attacks will happen, and InterVision is here to make sure you’re prepared. Learn more about how our RPaaS™ solution can protect you here.