The main point of this guide series is not whether you should pay the ransom or not; it’s how to handle Ransomware no matter your choice. We’ll make a case for both, but we lean much further towards not paying the ransom.
Most security experts, us included, advise against paying any ransoms. Why?
- There’s no guarantee that you’ll get your files back if you pay.
- With reliable backups and a Disaster Recovery Plan in place, you should be good to go without paying.
- It may discourage criminal enterprises and deter repeat attacks.
- You would save whatever amount of money the ransom is demanding and could save your business’s reputation as well.
*It may take longer to recover your data this way, but you can rest assured that you’re not giving your money to a criminal and you’re not perpetuating the cycle of ransomware. *
We understand there’s a case to be made for paying the ransom as well:
- When business, financial, medical, or legal information is at stake, paying a few hundred dollars looks like the fastest, easiest solution.
- Many ransomware criminals do unlock the files after ransoms have been paid.
- You and your employees have families to support. If your business is shut down for 2 weeks that’s not enough for unemployment to kick in, but it could be enough time to fall behind on bills. We know the downtime could lead to financial devastation and that’s not something you should take lightly.
- If backups were compromised somehow, you may feel like you have no other choice.
*The recovery time may be shorter, but you’re trusting a criminal to keep his word. You may become a future target with a larger ransom.
**Like we stated earlier – whether or not to pay the ransom is a personal choice you’re going to have to make. We want to focus on the steps to take no matter what your choice is, not convince you one way or the other. **