Ransomware attackers are the schoolyard bullies of cyberspace, and they’re unrelenting in their hunt for your “milk money.” Get caught unprepared, and you’ll be forced to choose between rewarding the cyber extortionist with bitcoins—or weathering the financial burden that naturally results from data loss and downtime.
Well, we think that stinks.
To that end, we’ve drawn up a list of ransomware tools and resources that won’t break the bank—or leave a dent, for that matter. That’s right: Here are the nine freebies we think you should check out right now.
1. System Analyzer
One of our consortium partners, Webroot calls its Webroot® System Analyzer a CT scan for your PCs. And, armed with the crucial insights it delivers, you can work to improve the health and security status of your environment.
For example, the application identifies common issues, like:
- Malware infections
- Outdated drivers
- Outdated systems and software
- Disabled user account controls
- Failed anti-spyware software
- Failed antivirus software
- Fragmented files
Issues it won’t identify:
- Your Jimmy Buffett/Margaritaville shirt collection
- Failed pattern mixing
- Wearing white after Labor Day
Still, if you can’t be fashion forward, you can at least be ahead of the curve when it comes to malware.
And since the Webroot System Analyzer takes less than two minutes to run, gives you a detailed status report that identifies potential problems—and doesn’t require any installation, ahead is precisely where you’ll be.
2+3. Weak Password and Phishing Security Tests
Here’s a twofer from another consortium partner, KnowBe4.
First up: The Weak Password Test. This test assesses your Active Directory and reports on employee accounts that are “protected” by weak, duplicate, and missing passwords. (But, let’s be honest: If you have a missing password, you don’t even deserve to call yourself “protected” in quotes.)
With this insight in-hand, you can immediately address employee password weaknesses and determine if you need to reassess your password policy.
While you’re in the testing mood, we also recommend you try KnowBe4’s Phishing Test on for size.
This test enables you to safely phish up to 100 employees, helping you determine how vulnerable your organization is to the threat. It then generates a report, indicating how your employees fare compared to the industry standard, so you can consider whether you might need to revisit your end user training efforts.
4. Ransomware Crisis Plan eBook
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Not having a crisis plan is planning for a crisis. That said, it’s hard to get started without blueprints.
That’s where this Ransomware Crisis Plan eBook comes in. Created in partnership with KnowBe4, we walk you through ransomware attack preparedness, so you can mitigate damage and hasten recovery.
Get the nitty-gritty insight you need to:
- Build an emergency response team
- Create a technical response
- Develop a communications response
- Purchase cyber insurance
- As a very last resort, pay the ransom
Of course, if you nail the technical response and test your backup and recovery, you won’t find a need for that last part—and that’s just the way we like it.
5. Evolving Strategies in Cyberattacks and Response Webinar
This webinar, which we co-hosted with our consortium partner, VIPRE, delivers crucial insights on the battle against ransomware.
Sit back with a relaxing cup of tea, or maybe a can of Jolt, and find out:
- How cyberattacks make their way into environments
- The critical role endpoint protection plays (as everyone knows, the common slang CYA stands for “Cover Your Endpoint”...if you just squint a little bit)
- Gaps in protection (you know, gaps you’ll want to identify and close?)
- Tactics to stop attacks in their tracks
- How to respond to ransomware attacks with proven ransomware data recovery methods
Get your ransomware protection strategy right, and you’ll have some free time on your hands. In which case, you can print out each video frame and stitch them into a quilt so large, it will cover a California king-sized bed.
That’s pretty comprehensive for a webinar and really highlights it’s efficacy as a security blanket.
6. Hostage Rescue Manual
Not to be confused with Hostage Rescue Manuel—the best Spanish language crisis simulator that hasn’t been made yet—KnowBe4’s Hostage Rescue Manual walks you through precisely what to do upon discovering a ransomware infection. That means learning how you can negotiate and pay a ransom, and how to better protect yourself in the future.
What we really like about this resource: It includes a ransomware attack response checklist, as well as a ransomware prevention checklist.
7. Ransomware Prevention Guide
In the immortal words of DMX, “Where my [IT professionals]* at?”
The answer, we hope, is: “Busy following the advice in this ransomware prevention guide.”
There is simply no point in installing AV, if you don't take basic precautions to prevent your most valuable servers from being hacked or if you’re still running a dangerously out-of-date** OS, like Microsoft XP, for example.
*Technically, the song’s title is “Where My Dogs At,” but the implication seems clear.
**Dangerously Out-Of-Date is also my MC Name.
Read this Ransomware Prevention Guide for expert advice.
8. Crypto Sheriff Decryption Assessment
Sure, Crypto Sheriff might sound like a data-based anthropomorphic animated crime dog, but you’d be wrong. Crypto Sheriff allows you to upload an encrypted file and, if there’s a solution that enables you to unlock all of your files for free, it will let you know.
You can find Crypto Sheriff at No More Ransom—a website supported by a consortium of law enforcement and IT data security partners (though in this case they should probably be called “pardners”).
Check out Crypto Sheriff.
9. Essential Guide to Secure a Ransomware-free Future
Ransomware has become the most menacing threat to IT organizations. Though cyber criminals are showing no signs of slowing down, advancements in cybersecurity and disaster recovery technologies give organizations the power to fight back.
We put together an essential ransomware guide that covers:
- How ransomware attacks have evolved
- The best technologies and IT management practices to employ in your organization’s defense
- How to take a forward-looking approach to achieve a ransomware-free future
Download your guide to a ransomware-free future here.
Fight on, good citizens
So, there you have it. Some of the best free ransomware tools and resources on the Web.
Now that you’ve got the goods, it’s your turn to share. Tell us what you’ve seen on the mean streets of cyberspace.
We’re always on the lookout for more ways to support organizations in their fight against ransomware, so don’t be shy. Shoot us a message and tell us how we can help you fight the good fight.
Because ransomware isn’t going away—and neither are we. Learn how to formulate a ransomware response plan.