Data Protection Threats: Viruses, Ransomware, and Other Types of Malware
There’s no shortage of data protection threats out there these days. These are perilous times for cybersecurity, and keeping your customers’ information safe. As you may be able to tell from watching the news, companies that collect massive amounts of data must protect themselves from hackers using viruses, ransomware, and other types of malware.
Let’s look at some basic cybersecurity threats and what they mean for those who are looking to protect their data. For many, viruses, malware, and ransomware may feel like interchangeable words that all describe a threat to the system, but they do have subtle differences.
Various Types of Data Protection Threats
How Computer Viruses Work
Computer viruses are one of the most prevalent data protection threats in the real world today. Much like biological viruses, have the ability to spread from host to host, and replicate within the system. Computer viruses need a host to survive the same way the flu virus would. They need the right programming, and that usually resides within a file or a software system.
Viruses alter the way a computer operates, most often with malicious intent. They can cause system-wide effects, such as damaging the software or destroying data. They can spread through email or text attachments or links. Mobile devices are also susceptible.
An antivirus program can offer a tremendous amount of protection. You can also prevent viruses by not clicking on pop-ups or spam links. Scanning your email attachments can also be a good precautionary measure.
How Ransomware Works
Ransomware is another form of malware. But when ransomware interferes with the operation of your system, it demands a payment to restore your computer to its previous condition. Ransomware frequently pops up after what appears to be a phishing attack.
The messages involved look increasingly trustworthy but can be problematic. Simply clicking on them may give an experienced hacker full access to your computer. The hacker then relies on fear to get what they want. They may freeze the entire computer or even threaten to delete files unless their demands are met.
You can protect your computer from ransomware with antivirus software, a strong firewall and strong passwords.
How Malware Works
Malware is a general term for any type of malicious software. Viruses and ransomware are specific types of malware. With malware, the user’s trouble usually begins when they are tricked into clicking on, or installing a program from somewhere else on the internet.
That click then results in the execution of commands that the user never intended. Some of these actions might include:
- Rendering files inaccessible to the user
- Bombardment with ads
- Rendering a device inoperable
- Slowing down the system
- Installing programs that record keystrokes
A few other types of malware include worms, Trojans, and spyware. Antivirus software can also help to protect against malware. Using an active firewall, strong passwords, and a BIOS/UEFI password can all also help. It can also help to use the services of computer or IT specialists to make sure that your defenses are as strong as they could be.
In the Event of Data Loss from Hackers, Rely on the Experts
These data protection threats are very real. It may be tempting to try and recover your own data after a cyber attack. But the more you run your hard drive or install data recovery software, the more you increase the chance of writing over the lost files. The best thing you can do is to contact experienced data recovery professionals to help you recover any lost files.
What Happens After a File’s Been Deleted?
After a file’s been deleted, it doesn’t just disappear. The name is a bit of a misnomer. When you hit the delete button intentionally or on accident, that file still exists in the same spot on your computer. The pointer to that file has been removed, making it more difficult to find.
When you see the file in the trash or the recycle bin, it gives another opportunity for recovery. But even removing it from the trash or recycle bin doesn’t fully remove the file from the computer. As mentioned above, it’s simply the pointer that is removed.
Another analogy would be if you lost a road map to your destination. Even if you can’t find your way without a map, the destination still exists. It’s just not immediately accessible. When we stopped using physical card catalogs inside the library, it didn’t mean that there were no more books.
After a File’s Been Deleted It’s Important to Act Fast
After a file has been deleted, it’s important to act fast. This is because when the pointer has been removed, you are giving the computer permission to overwrite the area of the hard drive that is still holding the file.
This is why it becomes important to stop what you’re doing immediately after a file deletion and involve a professional data recovery company before the data is lost for good. Many people may be tempted by a DIY approach in this moment. It’s important to understand that if you use a file recovery program off the internet, you run the risk of overwriting the file during the installation or running of the new software.
File Deletion as a Time Saver
There’s a reason that your computer simply removes the pointer after a file has been deleted. It’s more efficient. The pointer can be removed nearly instantaneously. However, erasing the entire file might take several minutes, depending on the size of the file.
As a time-saving option, Windows and Apple operating systems don’t erase files upon deletion, and when they do erase files, it happens in the background.
When You Need to Recover Deleted Files
If you’ve accidentally deleted a file and you need it recovered, you do have options, but as mentioned above, it’s important to act fast. The more time that passes, the higher the chance that the file will be overwritten, decreasing the likelihood of recovery. Even if it’s been partially overwritten, only a portion of the data may remain available.
The other crucial piece of advice to follow when you’ve accidentally deleted a file is to power down the computer and use it as little as possible. If you have the technical skillset, you can insert the hard drive into another computer, and use another operating system for recovery.
If you don’t have the technical skillset to manage the recovery yourself, the best thing that you can do is to hire an experienced data recovery company that has likely seen recovery cases just like yours.
At We Recover Data, our experienced data recovery specialists work with the highest-level technology and equipment in the industry to efficiently help our customers recover the data that they need after a file has been deleted.
Using a Clean Room for Data Recovery
Data recovery is sensitive work. The slightest disturbances in the environment can cause further damage to the equipment in question.
When you open a hard drive case, the inner workings are exposed, making it sensitive to the air and any surrounding contaminants. When any of the sectors are damaged, it can make data recovery more complex and time-consuming. For these reasons, in sensitive cases, experienced companies rely on clean rooms for data recovery.
Just like medical facilities, integrated circuit manufacturers, and other businesses, data recovery often depends on sterile environments to ensure the integrity of the work. When a professional data recovery company works on your media, they must do what they can to keep outside contaminants away from the delicate components of your equipment. At times, this may require the use of a clean room.
When A Clean Room is Needed
The truth is that not every data recovery case requires a clean room. Yes, the materials are sensitive, but sometimes the job can be completed without it. Clean rooms for data recovery become a better option when the cover on the drive must be removed.
If the cover is off and the drive is powered on, the head that reads the data may come across an obstruction or contaminant, which can lead to further scratches or broken heads. To be clear, it takes an experienced data recovery specialist to make the call on when the clean room is or isn’t necessary.
Clean Room Specifications
Our class 4 and class 5 clean rooms are designed to keep particulates out of the air – preventing any damage to the disk in question. Good air quality becomes extremely important in these cases. The state-of-the-art equipment used inside the clean room environment depends on the air quality standards involved with the recovery effort and can impact the ISO rating of the clean room.
We work hard in every recovery case to ensure that our customers’ drives are never contaminated by the surrounding air. We always complete the work in the appropriate environment for the job.
Clean Rooms for Data Recovery: An Investment in the Necessary Technology
At We Recover Data, we understand the important role of clean rooms for data recovery. This is why we’ve invested in top-notch data recovery tools and technology. We’re committed to maintaining our status as industry leaders. This technology allows advanced recoveries to become possible.
But we understand that not every data recovery case requires this level of technology. For this reason, we maintain a transparent relationship with our customers and only use our top-tier technology when necessary, making data recovery more affordable and accessible to the general public.