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Ransomware attacks have become a prevalent cybersecurity threat, employing tactics that encrypt victims’ data and demand ransom for its release. Attackers use various techniques to infiltrate systems, including phishing emails, malicious attachments, drive-by downloads, and exploiting vulnerabilities in software. Once inside, ransomware like WannaCry or REvil encrypts critical files, rendering them inaccessible and often spreads across networks to maximize damage.

Phishing remains a primary vector, tricking users into opening malicious links or attachments. Drive-by downloads occur when users visit compromised websites that automatically download ransomware. Exploits target unpatched software, making timely updates essential.

Mitigation strategies are vital to defend against ransomware. Implementing robust email filtering helps block phishing attempts. Regular software updates and patches close vulnerabilities that attackers exploit. Employing endpoint protection and antivirus software can detect and quarantine ransomware before it executes.

Backup strategies are crucial; maintaining offline backups ensures data can be restored without paying ransoms. Regularly testing backups confirms they function correctly. Network segmentation limits the spread of ransomware, isolating critical systems from infected areas.

User education is equally important. Training employees to recognize phishing attempts and suspicious activities reduces the risk of initial compromise. Enforcing the principle of least privilege ensures users have only the access necessary for their roles, minimizing damage if an account is compromised.

Additionally, incident response planning prepares organizations to react swiftly to ransomware attacks. Having a predefined plan, including steps for isolation, investigation, and recovery, can significantly reduce downtime and data loss.

Overall, a multi-layered security approach combining technical measures, user education, and response planning forms an effective defense against ransomware attacks.