The best ransomware removal tools | eSecurityPlanet
Ransomware is ubiquitous these days, spreading fear in the hearts of IT and business managers alike.
And studies support this perception and show that ransomware is increasing in both prevalence and effectiveness. Current research by Positive technologies examined the cyber threat landscape in Q2 2021 and found that ransomware attacks reached “stratospheric” levels and accounted for 69% of all malware attacks, a huge increase from 39% in Q2 2020.
Attacks on corporate resources such as servers and network devices are on the rise. QNAP network drives, used to aggregate large amounts of corporate and individual data, have been exposed to a growing number of attacks.
Email was the number one way malware spread across organizations (58%), followed by compromising computers, servers, and network devices (33%).
All of this adds up to bad news for IT teams in almost every industry. Employee training, patching, and multiple layers of defense remain critical. But increasingly, businesses face the possibility of the worst – and that includes ransomware-safe backups and ransomware removal tools and services. Here we focus on removal tools.
The best ransomware removal tools
We reviewed a large number of ransomware removal, blocking, and prevention tools to create the list below. Many are enterprise-class tools, but some are consumer-centric and work well for smaller teams or remote offices and in areas where IT support isn’t all it should be.
McAfee adopts various preventive pre-execution models and layers them over intelligence signals to prevent ransomware infections. Prevention also typically relies on blocking tools used in the early stages of the infection cycles based on the initial vector identification. In the event that ransomware gets through, there are a number of behavioral and technology-based heuristics for the early detection of ransomware as well as deception techniques that serve as a deterrent and minimize the impact.
The key features of McAfee
- Ability to use a variety of sensor signals from different perspectives, including URL protection, exploit prevention, heuristics (static and dynamic), machine learning at the endpoint and in the cloud, as well as behavioral and deception-based approaches
- Roll-back elimination via MVISION Unified Cloud Edge (a uniform CASB and SASE offer) as a mechanism for recovery after a ransomware infection
- Protection against cloud threats and misconfigurations
- Enforce Data Loss Prevention (DLP) policies for data in the cloud
- Prevent the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive data
- Detect compromised accounts, insider threats, and malware
- Get insight into unapproved applications and control their functionality
- Check for misconfigurations using industry benchmarks and change the settings automatically
EnigmaSoft’s SpyHunter detects threats such as malware and ransomware on a system and claims to remove all traces of them. It even offers a free ransomware removal tool, although it comes with some conditions that can trick the user into opting for the paid version.
The most important functions of EnigmaSoft
- Free Remover enables a correction and removal for found results
- Fast malware scan for quick and easy detection of threats
- Improved multi-layer scanning with vulnerability detection
- Integrated personal Spyware HelpDesk support
- Scan for, identify, remove, and block malware
- Adapt and update as the malware evolves and becomes more sophisticated to bypass detection by anti-malware / antivirus programs
- Can remove trojans, ransomware, worms, viruses, rootkits, adware, potentially unwanted programs and other objects
- Scans to identify programs on systems that may contain reported vulnerabilities
Kaspersky has one No ransom site which has the latest decryptors, ransomware removal tools and information on how to protect yourself against ransomware (Europol also operates a free website for decryption tools). These are available free of charge. The company also offers a comprehensive security suite that includes these services and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities.
The main features of Kaspersky
- Protection against hackers, viruses and malware
- Payment protection and privacy tools that protect from every angle
- Free VPN with up to 300MB of data traffic per day
- Free Kaspersky Password Manager Premium
- Offers a long list of decryptors including those for Shadow, Rakhni, Rannoh, CoinVault, Wildfire, and Xorist
- Blocks common and complex threats like viruses, malware, ransomware, spy apps, and other hacking tricks
- Locate device vulnerabilities and threats
- Blocks cyber threats before they take hold
- Isolates and removes immediate danger
TotalAV offers several tools with ransomware protection including WebShield and the TotalAV Total Security Suite. They provide a first line of defense against counterfeit, fraudulent, phishing, and counterfeit websites designed to harm devices, compromise security, and even steal personal information.
The most important functions of TotalAV
Multi-device compatibility for Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices
Blocks ads, pop-ups and notifications
Scans downloads, installations, and executables for viruses and threats
Monitors email addresses and notifies you of potential threats
The Sophos Virus Removal Tool detects all types of malware, including viruses, spyware, rootkits, ransomware and Conficker, and puts the systems in a functional state. It has direct access to virus data from SophosLabs, a global network of threat researchers, to ensure that even the latest viruses are detected and removed.
Major Sophos Features
- Free download that runs on the desktop
- Has more than 100 million users worldwide
- Contains the same security features that are available in Sophos Enduser Protection
- Scan and clean up user memory
- Scan and clean up the kernel memory
- Scanning files
- Identifies and removes malware from a single endpoint
Norton offers multiple levels of protection for devices and online privacy for small groups. It uses an annual subscription model. Products range from antivirus protection that also catches ransomware to full security suites bundled into AV, ransomware protection and much more.
Main features of Norton
- Real-time threat protection from existing and emerging device malware threats
- Secure VPN to enable anonymous and secure surfing with a no-log function
- Bank-level encryption to protect information such as passwords and personal data
- Dark web monitoring
- Password management, which stores and manages passwords, credit card information and other access data
- Automatic, secure 50 GB cloud backup
Another one that is far more than a dedicated ransomware removal tool. It is a suite of security tools and remedial measures suitable for a team of up to 10 people. In addition to malware detection and removal, it offers unlimited VPN traffic and priority support.
The main features of BitDefender
- Detection to stop sophisticated cyber threats
- Layered ransomware protection to protect files
- Unlimited, secured VPN traffic for online privacy
- Minimal impact on system performance
- Real-time data protection
- Network and advanced threat protection
- Web attack prevention
- Anti-phishing, spam and fraud prevention
Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response fights ransomware in every phase of the attack chain with a mixture of signature and signatureless technologies.
The main functions of Malwarebytes
- Proactively detects and blocks attempts to compromise application vulnerabilities and remotely execute code on the endpoint
- Leverages machine learning, provided with a new aggressive anomaly detection model, to identify suspicious executables
- Ransomware rollback technology is turning back the clock to negate the effects of ransomware through the use of just-in-time backups
- Information about risks, including basic steps to protect a business from ransomware through training
- Provides best practice recommendations to prevent ransomware from harming systems.
- Linking the engine fix
This tool identifies which ransomware has encrypted the data. The sole purpose of this service is to determine which type of ransomware may have encrypted your files. It will try to point you in the right direction and let you know if there is any known method for decrypting your files. This doesn’t necessarily remove everything, but it does help you figure out what’s going on and who is behind the attack.
Main characteristics of ID ransomware
- Uploaded files are immediately compared with the signature database
- If results are found, they will be deleted immediately
- If no results are found, the uploaded files can be passed on to malware analysts to aid in future detections or in the identification of new ransomware
- The data is uploaded to the server via SSL so that the connection cannot be intercepted by third parties
WatchGuard’s Endpoint Security Platform provides minimal complexity protection through an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) and an Endpoint Discovery and Response (EDR) approach. The company acquired Panda Security more than a year ago and integrated its endpoint security products with the WatchGuard cloud management and visibility platform.
Main features of Watchguard
- WatchGuard Total Security Suite, available with all Firebox appliances, provides protection against malware and ransomware
- Security controls such as WebBlocker, APT Blocker and Host Ransomware Prevention detect and prevent common methods of ransomware attacks
- DNS filtering
- A range of firewall appliances with ransomware protection
Best backup solutions for ransomware protection
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