What Are Your Options When Faced With Ransomware?


Ransomware is becoming more and more common in the United States and beyond. At some point, many commercial organizations will end up experiencing ransomware – at least 5% of businesses have been attacked, and these businesses are in every sector of industry. Plus, this number is likely a lowball estimate, as some organizations that have an attack never report it for fear of customers losing trust in them. Ransomware readiness is a crucial component of keeping your business safe, and knowing your options after a ransomware attack can be the first step.

1. Pay the Ransom

Obviously, you can just pay the ransom and try to get your files back. However, this option may not be the best one. Not only is it possible that you won’t actually receive your files back, but ransomware demands can be immensely high, especially for larger organizations. Paying the ransom can require significantly more money than your company is actually willing to pay. Plus, in some cases, this may actually put your company in legally murky waters. It’s best to avoid this option if possible, especially when it comes to an organization rather than an individual.

2. Try to Remove the Ransomware

Your second option is to try and remove the ransomware from your computers. Some ransomware is easier to remove than others; while just about every ransomware will say that attempting to remove it will completely destroy your files, there are good computer scientists out there who have developed ways to remove many types of ransomware. However, of course, not every type of ransomware is prone to these kinds of removal. Many types of ransomware, especially newer ones, are much more difficult, and you just might not be able to remove them at all. That leaves only one way to save your files – wipe the computers and start from the beginning.

3. Wipe Your Computers and Start Fresh

With this option, you take your computer to an expert, who completely wipes the drive and reinstalls your operating system on it. It’s important that you take the computers to an expert, as completely wiping the drive and ensuring the ransomware is completely gone can be much more difficult than you would expect. This can completely wipe out important work, which is why having a backup is so crucial. If you have an isolated backup, you have the best defense against ransomware. You can afford to just wipe your computers entirely without having to worry about a loss of progress.


When your company is faced with a ransomware attack, your best option will always be to simply wipe the computers and re-install the operating system. However, while this is definitely the best option security-wise, it can be nearly impossible if you don’t have a good backup. An important part of ransomware readiness is investing in an air-gapped backup. If your company doesn’t have one right now, it’s important that you look into methods of creating and maintaining one.