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Anti-Ransomware for Windows 10: A Guide

Ransomware attacks are becoming more popular, with the global cost of attacks in 2020 thought to be close to $20 billion with the average cost of an attack being more than $4 million. 

Ransomware is a virus that infiltrates your machine, or even your entire business network, and encrypts the data held on the hardware. In order to once more gain access to your data, the cyber criminals demand ‘ransom’ to be paid. Not everyone who pays the ransom is able to recover all of their data. 

With such a high risk to your business, it seems strange that not every organization puts preventative measures in place. 

Is it safe to use my computer without an anti-virus? 

The simple answer is no. Using your computer without anti-virus software would be the equivalent of going out and leaving your front door open. 

You might be safe from a cybercriminal, but it is a risk.  Anti-virus software acts as a primary line of defence against cybercriminals. Without it, any third party can install anything onto your computer which can harvest data, encrypt data or simply cause chaos within your systems.

What’s the best way to protect yourself from Ransomware? 

While it is impossible to protect yourself from 100% of ransomware attacks, being forewarned and informed about the threats with anti ransomware protection enables you to put some prevention processes in place. 

  • Train staff One of the most common ways to be infected with ransomware is via malicious or phishing emails. These contain infected attachments or links to infected websites. It is important to train staff to be aware of the dangers and to not click on any suspicious-looking links. 
  • Restrict admin rights – By ensuring that admin rights to data are only provided to authorised personnel can protect data from becoming lost, deleted or accessible to unauthorised people. 
  • Install security software – All hardware should have up to date anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and anti-virus software as well as a firewall. These should be updated regularly.
  • Update your operating system – The older and more outdated your operating systems are the more likely they are to be affected by ransomware, so always ensure they are updated.  
  • Threat monitoring – Most cybersecurity support companies like CiS can offer threat monitoring which can identify and block potential threats before they become a problem. 

What is Windows Anti Ransomware Protection? 

Windows 10 comes as standard with Windows Defender which includes Ransomware Protection. However, this aspect of the Defender package is switched off as a default, meaning to use this necessitates activating it. Ransomware Protection includes Controlled Folder Access which enables you to monitor and block changes made to certain files. This means that all programmes will be prevented from making changes to the specified folders. Ransomware Protection also includes Ransomware Data Recovery which automatically syncs files on your computer to Microsoft OneDrive. This acts as a back-up meaning should you be the victim of a ransomware attack you can recover your data from OneDrive.

Which is the best antivirus software for Windows 10? 

Although Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, you can never be too protected against viruses, malware, and ransomware. Windows Defender is a hassle-free security option, which is a free addition to Windows 10, but it may not be secure enough for business use. 

There are a number of anti-virus software options that work well with Windows 10 and add that extra layer of security against cybercriminals. Here is a list of some of the best anti-ransomware and anti-virus software on the market. 

  • Bitdefender Antivirus Plus – This covers up to 10 devices and offers Safepay banking protection, Wi-Fi Security Advisor, web protection, and anti-ransomware. You are also able to set up security profiles within the software.
  • Norton Anti-Virus Plus – More for home use or solopreneurs as this software only covers one machine, meaning for business use you will need one per user. It has an effective firewall and a back-up option. 
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus for Windows – This covers a maximum of five devices and allows configurable virus scans. It has a good reputation for ransomware protection. 
  • Avira Antivirus Pro – This is another software that only applies to one machine but has strong anti-ransomware protection as well as banking and shopping protection. 

Importance of Anti Ransomware 

With a number of viruses that are designed to be destructive and cause chaos, they don’t generally destroy your data. However, ransomware is designed to encrypt your data, meaning ransomware removal is not straightforward. If you are the victim of a ransomware attack, there is little you can do other than reset your machine to an earlier backup, which means you need to have an active back-up and recovery system in place. Therefore, it is preferable to prevent a ransomware attack by putting anti-ransomware software in place than try to remove it once you have it.

Benefits of anti-ransomware 

If protecting your business from a ransomware attack where you could potentially lose all the data on your computer or network isn’t enough, there are a number of benefits to installing anti-ransomware software; 

  • System security – if you have up to date ransomware software, it will be able to detect new strains of ransomware which will offer your systems further security. 
  • Reduced down-time – If you are a victim of a ransomware attack the fallout could mean your business is out of action for some time, costing money in wasted staff hours, client orders and potential data-breach fines. 
  • File Recovery – Some anti-ransomware software offers a file recovery system that will save you time in office downtime as well as saving data that may otherwise have been lost. 
  • Cleaning functionality – Some anti-ransomware software will also offer the feature of clearing any infected files on your computer. 

What next?

If you want some impartial advice on what anti-virus and anti-ransomware software is best for your business then contact the team at CIS Ltd today and learn more about our IT services.


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