Ransomware Prevention and Malware Attack Solutions

Safeguard your clients with a secret weapon in the war on cyber extortion. Avoid cyber extortion of your encrypted essential business data with Datto’s ransomware protection solutions.

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Ransomware Protection: How to Prevent Ransomware

Datto protects businesses against ransomware attacks and ensures control and ownership remain undisrupted.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts or locks your files and demands payment to access them. Although there are multiple strains of ransomware, all fall under two main types: crypto-ransomware and locker ransomware.

Regardless of the strain, ransomware is a criminal money-making scheme that is triggered by tricking users into clicking on deceptive links using social engineering tactics or by exploiting system vulnerabilities.

Some strains go a step further and mark the files for permanent deletion. The perpetrators then demand ransom payments (usually in untraceable cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin) for the private key required to decrypt and access the files.

To prevent attacks like this, managed service providers (MSPs) should adopt a layered approach that includes employee education, IT security, and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) technology to achieve the best possible cyber resilience for your business and their clients.

How Does Ransomware Work?

Ransomware can enter networks in various ways, but the most common tactic is social engineering, where hackers trick users into clicking links or opening files. Once the attack is triggered, the malware encrypts the data located on that system, making files inaccessible.

Other strains, such as WannaCry, work without any human interaction. This type of attack infects your system through vulnerabilities in browser plugins or unpatched software.

Once a business's files are encrypted, impacted parties must pay the hackers for decryption keys to unlock the files. However, there is no guarantee that paying for access will recover files, and it also doesn't prevent future attacks. Thankfully, BCDR technology allows you to quickly recover data and normal business operations without paying ransom.

If you’re a small or medium business looking for ways to protect your mission-critical data from ransomware, consider working with a managed service provider. They are experts in cyber resilience and are able to help form a business continuity and data recovery plan.

Who are Ransomware Attackers?

Ransomware attacks can be created and distributed by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Attacks can be extremely profitable, and would-be cybercriminals just need an internet connection to start.

Although these cyber attacks are illegal, the odds of getting caught are low as payment is typically bitcoin. Bitcoin is an anonymous cyber currency that is extremely hard to trace.

Some forms of Ransomware do not even require coding knowledge. These are known as Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) strains. These are created by hackers to take a portion of the ransom as a service fee and make it very easy for users to share the malicious software.

In 2016, a criminal organisation infected around 150,000 victims in 201 countries. They split the profits 40% to malware authors and 60% to those who discover new targets.

Could my business be a Ransomware victim?

Cyber attackers do not discriminate – they cast a wide net and will go after anyone. Historically, they have targeted small and medium businesses (SMBs) with a modest budget.

If data is important to your business, you are a target.

A Tip for Managed Service Providers

If you provide an IT service to SMBs, adopt solutions and work with vendors you trust and are proactive in the fight against ransomware. Datto provides them with solutions to help you provide a robust solution for your clients.

A Tip for IT Users

As a business owner or an end user, you have more important jobs to do than manage your own IT systems. The world of IT and the threats businesses face are also always changing.

This is where managed service providers come in. They work with SMBs to ensure their systems are functional and provide a security strategy for your business.

How to Defend Against Ransomware?

To protect your business against ransomware, you must employ cybersecurity best practices, which includes the use of multiple defense-in-depth security solutions and adherence to cybersecurity frameworks.

The best way to defend against ransomware attacks is to utilize a multi-pronged approach that includes:

  • Datto EDR for endpoint detection and response
  • Ransomware Detection, which stops known and unknown forms of ransomware from executing and spreading throughout your network
  • Ransomware Rollback, an easy and elegant way to revert encrypted files back to their original state
  • Managed SOC, powered by RocketCyber, which gives you 24/7 managed detection and response for endpoint, network and cloud threat vectors

How to Remove Ransomware?

Removing ransomware is complex, and in some cases, it can be impossible. Although hackers say they will send you the decryption key when you pay the ransom, there are no guarantees.

The only way to take control is to ensure that you're able to recover from an attack without being held to ransom. The best way to do this is to take a multi-layered approach to ensure cyber resilience that includes employee education, IT security, and business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) technology.

The Solution: Protect Data Against Cyber Extortion with Datto


Datto RMM: Prevent and Detect Ransomware

The first step to protecting IT systems is to keep them patched and up to date. Datto RMM delivers effective policy-based patch management to keep clients’ machines secure. Datto RMM also takes the next step on ransomware defense by including native Ransomware Detection which monitors for crypto-ransomware and attempts to kill the virus to help reduce the impact of an attack.

Learn about Datto RMM

Proactively Respond with Autotask PSA

Identifying attacks is step one in reducing the impact of a ransomware attack, and with Datto RMM and Autotask PSA, you can proactively respond. Datto RMM monitoring alerts are intelligently routed into Autotask PSA so technicians can focus on top-priority tickets. An intelligent alert-to-ticket engine reduces noise, strips out duplicates, and updates tickets with any new status from Datto RMM.

Learn about Autotask PSA

Datto SIRIS: Protect and Recover

The last line of defense is all about protecting and recovering your data. No matter what the cybercriminals target, Datto SIRIS will protect physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures and data. With Datto SIRIS, not only can you protect your data, but you can also recover rapidly to minimize downtime. SIRIS also detects ransomware within backups, saving time when locating your last clean system restore point.

Learn about Datto Backup & Recovery

Secure SaaS Data in the Cloud

Ransomware can impact data stored in cloud applications, too, so it’s critical that business data in the cloud is secure. Datto SaaS protection eliminates the risk of becoming a victim of a ransomware attack. Even if ransomware locks your data on cloud-based applications like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, with Datto SaaS Protection data is easily recovered.

Learn about SaaS Protection

Layers of Protection from Ransomware

When it comes to protecting business data from ransomware attacks, there is no single solution that can fully protect you. It’s vital to take a multi-layered strategy to improve cyber resilience.

Cybersecurity Training

Cybersecurity programs teach users about the dangers of social engineering and phishing emails and outline sound security practices about email attachments, malicious links, and more.

Discover how to MarketNow can help

Ransomware Detection & Planning

Businesses always need to plan for the worst to happen, to do this they need to have and regularly test disaster recovery plans (DR plans). This will ensure that they know what to do in a disaster and how to return to operation. Ensure that you are using tools to detect attacks across your networks to ensure a rapid response and minimal spread.

Learn how to prepare for an attack

Ransomware Prevention

There are two major parts here, Antivirus software and system patching. If a malicious link or attachment is accessed, the antivirus will try to detect the ransomware to avert an infection . However, new strains are being created faster than antivirus can protect against them, so some strains do succeed. Additionally, patching software vulnerabilities helps to prevent cyber attackers from accessing systems.

Ransomware Recovery

The last line of defense is having a reliable and regularly tested backup of your systems. A data protection solution such as Datto SIRIS provides the ultimate failsafe in a layered defense strategy, taking backups of data and systems and storing them in a Datto’s private cloud. If you fall victim to an attack, you can simply recover your systems back to before the attack happened.

Notorious Ransomware Types


CryptoLocker is one of the most well-known strains. The original CryptoLocker botnet was shut down in May 2014, but not before the hackers behind it extorted nearly $3 million from victims. Since then, hackers have widely copied the CryptoLocker approach, although the variants in operation today are not directly linked to the original.

Learn more about Cryptolocker


In 2017, WannaCry became global news in a widespread ransomware campaign that targeted 200,000 organizations in more than 150 countries. The ransomware strain affected Windows machines through a weakness known as EternalBlue. Unpatched and out-of-date systems were crippled by this attack, costing businesses both time and revenue.

Learn more about WannaCry


Petya was originally discovered in March 2016, the strain was named after the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye. However, the effects of this strain were no fiction. Unlike some other types of ransomware, Petya encrypts entire computer systems. Petya overwrites the master boot record, rendering the operating system unbootable.


Ryuk ransomware was the attack of choice in 2020, responsible for more than a third of all ransomware attacks that year. Ryuk is used in attacks targeting companies, hospitals, and government organizations. Ryuk encrypts business-critical files and demands a high ransom–typically in the multi-millions.

Learn more about Ryuk

Bad Rabbit

Bad Rabbit spreads through a fake Adobe Flash update on compromised websites. This strain of ransomware has infected organizations in Russia and Eastern Europe but is still a global threat. When the ransomware infects a machine, users are directed to a payment page demanding .05 bitcoin.

Learn more about Bad Rabbit


Discovered in 2019, Maze ransomware has quickly made news for being responsible for the release of data belonging to victims, mainly in the healthcare industry. However, companies like Xerox Corporation have also been targeted by Maze ransomware operators, who have stolen more than 100GB of files.

Learn more about Maze

Testimonials on Datto's Ransomware Protection

“When a client was infected with ransomware that encrypted and locked their files, there was no need to panic. Without Datto, the amount of data loss and downtime in cases like this would be cripling.”

Robert Marsden
Robert Marsden Managing Director, Addictive Technology