Prevent attacks from skyrocketing

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that disables your IT system and prevents you accessing your data, usually by encrypting files. A criminal group will then demand a ransom in exchange for decryption. Ransomware is now the biggest cyber threat to UK businesses.1

How to prevent ransomware

  • Layers of defence: Use layers of defence to help you detect malware and stop it causing harm 
  • Backup files: Make regular backups of critical files. Store offline backups in a different location from your network and systems, or in a cloud service designed for this purpose
  • Take initiative: Guard against malicious content reaching your devices, for instance by filtering file types and blocking malicious websites
  • Antivirus and anti-malware software: Prevent malware from running if it does reach your company devices by using up-to-date antivirus or anti-malware products and technologies on all devices, including mobile phones and tablets, such as AppLocker
  • Vet suppliers: Ensure your suppliers have the right level of protection 
  • Employee Training: Train employees to be aware of the threat and vigilant about suspicious activity – malware is often delivered via email attachments
  • Plan for an attack: Think through the potential impact of a ransomware attack, and how you would continue to operate critical services while you rebuild.

What to do if you're a victim

  • Ransoms: Paying the ransoms demanded by cyber criminals only encourages further attacks. There is no guarantee it will get results – in one survey, 25% of organisations that paid a ransom did not retrieve their stolen data1
  • Immediately: Disconnect infected devices from the network and turn off wi-fi
  • Reset credentials: Ensure you reset any compromised credentials, including passwords
  • Infected devices: Safely wipe infected devices and reinstall the operating system
  • Backups: Verify backups are free from malware before restoring
  • Antivirus and anti-malware software: Install and update antivirus, and anti-malware, software before reconnecting to your network
  • More detailed guidance: Provided by the National Cyber Security Centre. The No More Ransom project has a selection of keys and applications to decrypt data locked by different types of ransomware.

Wake up to the reality of ransomware

82% of British businesses victim to ransomware have paid hackers. Ref: 1

British firms are 24% more likely to pay ransomware hackers than global counterparts. Ref: 1
20% of ransomware costs are attributed to reputational damage. Ref: 2

FAQs on ransomware

Barclays’ experts answered frequently asked questions about ransomware attacks and how to respond.

Your next steps

Report fraud

To report any fraudulent activity, or attempts, contact Barclays Corporate fraud on 0330 156 0155* or if calling from overseas dial +441606566208.

If you receive a suspicious email, send it as an attachment to  internetsecurity@barclays.co.uk and delete the email immediately.

Are you protected?

To keep yourself, and your organisation protected from criminals, ensure you keep up to date with our latest resources and advice.

Fraud and Scam Toolkit