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6 things you can do to prevent a ransomware attack

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents you from accessing your computer (or the data that is stored on it). The computer itself may become locked, or the data on it might be stolen, deleted or encrypted. Some ransomware will also try to spread to other machines on the network, such as the Wannacry malware that impacted the NHS in May 2017.

How does ransomware work?

  1. Access - Attackers gain access to your network. They establish control and plant malicious encryption software. They may also take copies of your data and threaten to leak it.

  2. Activation - The malware is activated, locking devices and causing the data across the network to be encrypted, meaning you can no longer access it.

  3. Ransom demand - Usually, you will then receive an on-screen notification from the cybercriminal, explaining the ransom and how to make the payment to unlock your computer or regain access to your data.

It is important to try and establish how the attackers gained access to your network in the first place so you can prevent future ransomware attacks.

How can I protect my business or charity from a ransomware attack?

  • Always back up your data, as restoring your files from a backup is the quickest way to regain access to your data.

  • Never click on unverified links, especially when they are from sources or senders that you don’t recognise.

  • Regularly scan your emails and systems for malware

  • Only download files from trusted sites

  • Use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.

  • Do not use unfamiliar USB devices.

Download and print our new infographic - 6 steps to help prevent a ransomware attack and display this in your workplace, email to your employees or include in your newsletter.

How a business or charity responds and recovers from a ransomware attack will hugely affect the impact of the attack. The National Cyber Security Centre has a number of resources designed to help respond and recover, we recommend you take a look at the following:

So, what is the FREE membership offer at The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands?

Here at the WMCRC, we offer various membership packages that have been designed to suit businesses of all sizes, from one-man bands to those with 10,000+ employees. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands was set up to support and help secure businesses across the region against cybercrime. ​

Our membership packages will provide your business with a range of resources and tools to help you identify your cyber security risks and vulnerabilities, as well as offer guidance on the steps that you can take to increase your levels of protection.

The first level of membership is free of charge, hassle-free and, doesn’t commit you to anything that you’ll later be charged for. There are options to upgrade your membership utilise our cyber services, but these upgrades are not compulsory – the crux of the offer is free.

Click here to join today!


The contents of this website are provided for general information only and are not intended to replace specific professional advice relevant to your situation. The intention of The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands is to encourage cyber resilience by raising issues and disseminating information on the experiences and initiatives of others.  Articles on the website cannot by their nature be comprehensive and may not reflect most recent legislation, practice, or application to your circumstances. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands provides affordable services and Trusted Partners if you need specific support. For specific questions please contact us.


The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from reliance on information or materials published on this document. The Cyber Resilience Centre for the West Midlands is not responsible for the content of external internet sites that link to this site or which are linked from it.

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