Ransomware poses a direct threat to your business. Research shows that over half of all U.S. businesses have been targeted with ransomware. While some of them are able to recover, other businesses are forced to shut down in the wake of an attack. There are ways to minimize the severity of ransomware, however. Known as ransomware mitigation, it can increase your business’s chance of survival.

Create Backups Regularly

You can minimize the severity of ransomware by creating regular backups. Ransomware attacks typically involve the use of file-encrypting malware. Once deployed, the malware will encrypt your files. You won’t be able to access these files while they are encrypted. The ransomware will then demand a payment to decrypt the files.

By creating backups on a regular basis, you can rest assured knowing that your business can easily recover from a ransomware attack. Even if the files are still encrypted, you can simply restore the affected computers and devices. Restoring will delete all of the files while simultaneously restoring the computers and devices to their original settings.

Keep Software Up to Date

Make sure all of the software on your business’s computers and devices is up to date. Running outdated software will only increase the severity of ransomware. Operating systems (OSs), for instance, have built-in safeguards to protect against malware. Some of them, however, also have weaknesses that increase the risk and/or severity of malware. Outdated OSs fall under the latter category. many of them have vulnerabilities that make it easier for attackers to deploy and use ransomware.

Quarantine the Infection

Upon discovering ransomware, you should quarantine the infection. There are dozens if not hundreds of different types of ransomware. While they are all designed to encrypt — or at least lock — files, some of them have other capabilities. There are types of ransomware that can spread, for example. Upon infecting a computer or device, they will attempt to spread to other computers and devices on the same network.

To reduce the severity of ransomware, you should quarantine the infection. This means disconnecting the ransomware-infected computers and devices from the network. When quarantined and isolated, they shouldn’t be able to spread the ransomware to other computers and devices on the network.

Create a Response Plan

One of the most important things you can do for ransomware mitigation is to create a response plan. A response plan, as the name suggests, outlines your business’s planned response to a ransomware attack. It may include some of the mitigation tactics listed above, such as quarantining the infection, and it may provide instructions on what employees should do after discovering ransomware.