April 26, 2018

The 9 best ransomware tools and resources money can’t buy…because they’re free

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.

System Analyzer

Our Ransomware Watch consortium partner, 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  • Outdated drivers
  • Outdated systems and software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.

Get your Webroot System Analyzer application.

Weak Password and Phishing Security Tests

Here’s a twofer from another of Ransomware Watch 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.

Start battening down the hatches with your Weak Password Test and Phishing Security Test.

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.

Read the Ransomware Crisis Plan eBook.

Evolving Strategies in Cyberattacks and Response Webinar

This webinar, which we co-hosted with our Ransomware Watch 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 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.

Watch this Evolving Strategies in Cyberattacks and Response webinar.

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.

Read your Hostage Rescue Manual.

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.

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.

Nice, right?

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.

Ransomware Watch Blog

Last but not least, our Ransomware Watch blog is always a great place to turn for data security and backup and recovery insights.

We built this site, which is supported by our data security consortium partners, Knowbe4, VIPRE, Webroot, Infoblox, and Maureen Data Systems. And, together, we provide insights on topics ranging from the broad ransomware landscape at 10,000 feet (or 0b10011100010000, if you fancy binary), to a close-up look at how safe you are if you’re using Linux (short answer: Penguins do not prevent ransomware).

Read our Ransomware Watch blog posts.

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.

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