Infection with ransomware is one troublesome attack that might cause real harm to your computer so that the recovery is hard to achieve. This is why we decided to do research for the five best ransomware protection tools that can help you in the fight against these difficult attacks and some of the ways to lessen the impact of the attack surface.
What does ransomware mean?
Ransomware represents a type of malware that performs encryption of the files detected in a compromised system but does not stop here. It requires from the ones who suffered the attack to pay the ransom in order to claim access to the data in their ownership.
The amount for “ransom” can start from a few bucks to thousands of dollars.
And if you are wondering if the access after the ransom money had been given is guaranteed, the short answer is negative. This is why it is a common logic to install some of the solutions for the best ransomware protection.
Before we take a closer and more detailed look at each of the solutions, in short, take a look at the top 5 options for ransomware protection:
Solution#1 Acronis Ransomware Protection – This is one of the leading solutions for zero-day attacks. The best things? It is free and efficient as it goes toe-to-toe with all ransomware going around the net these days.
Solution#2 Malwarebytes Anti-ransomware -with the help of the behavior analysis you can found out the malicious intent; this cannot be accomplished with any anti-virus program.
Solution#3 Trend Micro RansomBuster -This ransomware protection tool is used to deal with the problems by data and files storage that are placed in a folder that is secured the tool also blocks the unauthorized access to this folder.
Solution#4 Webroot SecureAnywhere – This is a precise tool that is great because of two things: effective in the fight and energy saver. As such it is great for small enterprises and individuals.
Solution#5 Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – Top leading solution and full-defense suite recommendable for the ones who want to ensure their safety among other things against ransomware too.
Is it necessary to protect yourself against ransomware?
Antivirus programs are there to offer an effective solution against many of the malware attacks but there are more things to be considered when it comes down to computer attacks.
One of the issues that arise with the antivirus programs is that these programs are becoming aware of the malware not the moment the malware is released but just right after their first update and the updates by the manufacturer of the blacklists.
What this means is that the anti-ransomware solutions might prevent a ransomware attack if they track programs or processes in a way that they check the beforementioned for some occurred changes or suspicious activities that are not typical for the programs.
On the other hand, the antivirus programs can detect malware attacks, but they cannot perform file recovery if the ransomware had encrypted those files. Anti-ransomware tools excel at decryption.
This is why it makes sense to install software for anti-ransomware protection that operates as an addition to the antivirus programs. If you do not want to have both you can install one antivirus solution which integrates also a ransomware protection tool. We listed some of the best for you!
Is it a serious threat?
How serious things can be is best exampled with the different types of ransomware attacks of 2017 when there was real domination of this malware and reached the top of the cyber-attack headlines. Some of the instances include:
- The creators of the ransomware attacks were motivated to create new ones as they were estimated to have earned 1 billion dollars that year only by paid ransom.
- One of the most famous attacks was WannaCry ransomware that happened in May. It created havoc in the online world as it hit many communication providers in more than 150 countries and with more than 10.000 other companies.
In the following year of 2018, the ransomware threat was imposed again on some of the largest enterprises in the world as well as to town’s networks. They were all made to pay a ransom.
- One example of this kind of threat is SamSam that demanded the City of Atlanta to pay a ransom of 51.000 dollars, which the city did not do. To recover the data the bill reached 11 million dollars.
- The Apple supplier, the Taiwanese company TSMC, was hit by the WannaCry ransomware that brought the company to the abrupt stoppage of the work.
This continued in 2019 as well when the ransomware attacks increased by double and what’s more, they become more powerful. For instance:
- Georgia Court together with the Administrative Office and other USA governmental offices were often the target of attacks and their systems went down.
- The Norwegian company Norsk Hydro suffered a total damage of more than 50 million dollars after the hackers disabled more than 20 000 computers in this company’s network.
So if we take an example from the past year our future in this context is not bright. What experts expect is an increased number of attacks with more power and more intelligent ones that shall target their victims very wisely and specifically.
Should small businesses worry about ransomware?
If you ask the question if this concerns the small businesses the answer is positive and there are three solid reasons for this:
- Ransomware is a growing trend: Hackers oftentimes target the SMBs so it will be no wonder if your business is the next target. This can be especially true if your business is growing rapidly.
- Small businesses are a perfect target: SMBs are better targets compared to individuals and compared to the big companies which are more secured the smaller ones are more exposed to risk due to lower level of security.
- No consequences: SMBs usually are pretty limited regarding power to pursue or track down hackers; Sometimes when the responsible ones are discovered not much can be done about them which is a great encouragement for the attackers.
The way a ransomware attack affects the businesses
These types of cybercrime at first can cause data loss and productivity problems but later the businesses can suffer a considerable amount of time in their entire operation process, and learn the hard way that internet security is a must and especially the ransomware prevention.
Some of the ways how the attacks can affect the businesses are:
- An attack might abruptly stop the business’s processes – if your hardware is attacked, you have to stop the processes abruptly which shall affect the customers’ trust and on the other side this will have direct outcomes in the loss of profit.
- Critical and Sensitive Data Loss – a malware infection can cause loss of data and if this data is sensitive or confidential this can halt the business processes. This can also put customers at risk especially if their data are disclosed.
- Misinformation spread – a malware attack that has not been detected can control the data and use this for creation of fake data as well as present incorrect info. In the case when this attack goes undetected you can continue using misinterpreted data which would eventually lead to bad end-results.
- Denial-of-Services (DoS) attacks – One of the common attacks is to block the outside world and prevent it to access to your business. Another issue that can arise is that the running of the scripts can isolate you and does not give you access to your clients. In both cases, the business does not receive enough input and this might cause damage in different segments of your business depending on what you do.
The presented herein are the most common malware attacks among many others. The question that arises here is Which ones are the leading ransomware protection solutions that we can select?
The best ransomware protection tools
1. Acronis Ransomware Protection
This anti-ransomware tool is an individual free tool with all capabilities and features and a tool that has 5GB of online backup. It can also come with the comprehensive Acronis True Image backup.
The tool is placed in a cloud as this is the storage place of all the significant user’s data. It is an online backup that can be applied as a point of restoration if there is a ransomware attack.
Acronis Ransomware Protection is part of the backup files’ local cache as it protects these files by not granting access to them. All the applications that do not possess authorization are blocked out.
This tool also monitors all the signs that are typical of ransomware attacks. In addition, it check the “whitelisting” created by other processes to double verify that it does not block the ones that are legitimate and need access. It also blocks the attempts that will try to modify the files of the tool and thus it protects its own integrity.
Last but not the least Acronis Ransomware Protection is free of charge tool that if you like you can choose to purchase a premium package.
2. Malwarebytes Anti-Ransomware
Initially designed in beta mode, the anti-ransomware tool for a short time became the leading option in today’s market. As it is specifically designed for an intended purpose it does not have large digital footprint and does not use lots of the processing power. This tool can be used separately but also as a part of a more comprehensive solution called Malwarebytes Endpoint Protection & Response. The company guarantees the great quality of the tool and its impeccable performance.
It is a background tool that after the installation it immediately protects the devices and acts in real-time. It is based on Ransomware Rollback technology. This tool can reverse the changes for example that were made by the process of encryption based on backups that had been created previously for this intention.
Malwarebytes monitors all the processes that are running and tracks the changes that occur. When it detects some untypical activity or change it can go back and reverse all the made changes regardless of their format -deletion, encryption or modification.
What makes Malwarebytes a leading tool is its design. It has been created to protect the system against the newest threats that occur online. It targets the latest malware threats and this makes it competitive on the market as this feature is something that cannot be rarely found.
3. Trend Micro RansomBuster
RansomBuster, as the other two mentioned, is a component of the suite named Trend Micro Antivirus, but at the same time, it is also a program that can be used separately and it is free of charge.
Its operation is based on a different approach compared to the others. It baits the malware, by placing fake files in previously selected positions around the system so later this could be monitored for attempts of attack and malicious behaviors.
It also possesses a feature called Folder Shield that opens 2 folders and places the documents in there. These documents are protected from attacks as they can not be deleted or edited by any program unless this program has a special authorization for such an action. You can create new files in these folders too so this guarantees their protection at the very beginning.
What is one perk of this tool is that it actually works with these 2 folders and does not monitor or track all the processes and changes. But instead, it protects these folders from any unwanted access by the other programs, services, and processes. It is also very simple for use as you as a user can create this folder and place all the sensitive data here!
The company that made this tool named Trend Micro has a special hotline page on which you can search for tools that can help you against the screen-locker ransomware, send data for decryption or deliver infected files for inspection.
4. Webroot SecureAnywhere
Webroot SecureAnywhere represents actually an antivirus software and security software that fights against different types of malware but because of the effective feature that it possesses regarding the ransomware, we included it in the list of anti-malware tools.
One of the kind feature of the tool is the ability to track the legitimate and illegitimate processes and acts correspondingly by removing or ignoring them. If the tool is not certain what to do with that particular process it continues to monitor it closely until it brings a final decision.
Webroot SecureAnywhere is cloud-based and it runs smoothly and remains unnoticed while it performs its work. It does a great job with the scanning too.
This tool stops processes that are not recognized to connect online, make an irreversible change and track all the activities they do. While the processes are operating Webroot Central analyzes and compares them to the cloud database. If there is a red flag then the tools act by reversing the changes that the program made including decryption of files.
5. Bitdefender Antivirus Plus
This clearly is one of the leading anti-malicious software on the market of cybersecurity. It is a full suite so this means it protects the network from different types of attacks, among which it provides solutions against the ransomware, which is truly remarkable.
The amazing performance is mainly due to Safe Files, which stops unauthorized access to sensitive data and storage. It possesses its personal antimalware engine for the scanning process and anti-ransomware protection with multiple layers.
Bitdefender Antivirus Plus is a tool that is used as an anti-phishing as well as anti-fraud protection against cybercriminals with an extension that can search and prevents access to web trackers. If you have been worried that someone is spying you try the Webcam Protection that halts the apps to take over your camera and Microphone Monitor notifies you when someone is attempting to access the mic.
The tool also includes features as a password manager, VPN, banking protection, safe online shopping, etc. Bitdefender is unobtrusive although it is a heavy-duty solution against the ransomware infections and does not tie-up the computer resources that are being secured.
In general, we would highly recommend this as a tool because it is a complete and amazing defense suite.
How to decide which one is the best ransomware protection tool
If we are to decide about the best security solution and malware protection tool that can work against ransomware too we would suggest taking a look at two of them -Bitdefender Antivirus Plus and Webroot SecureAnywhere before you make a final decision. The first option is best for companies and businesses and the second one for individuals and small businesses.