17 ransomware removal tools to protect enterprise networks

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Ransomware removal tools are one of the first defenses against cyber attacks.

Any enterprise’s IT infrastructure should already have an antivirus or antimalware platform installed to identify attacks, block ransomware from infecting systems, remove ransomware and, ultimately, unlock any files or resources that may have been blocked by an attacker. Don’t rely on older security products to protect you. Many aren’t optimized for ransomware, rendering them ineffective.

Many OSes contain ransomware removal tools. But separate antivirus or antimalware software with anti-ransomware features is the most effective method to remove ransomware and restore compromised files and resources.

After installing an antimalware platform with anti-ransomware, it’s essential that you regularly back up files and systems to external storage locations, such as an on-site storage drive like flash drives or RAID, or to a third-party, cloud-based backup service to recover a compromised system.

Antivirus and ransomware removal capabilities

Ransomware detection and removal tools are often included with antivirus and antimalware software packages. They detect and block malware, adware and other online threats with real-time protection and layered security. Designed to protect against phishing scams, malicious advertising and ransomware attacks, ransomware removal tools display warnings when users visit questionable websites or click suspicious links. They also scan devices to identify and remove existing infections.

Systems typically run in the background with minimal impact on device performance. Tools include graphical interfaces for easy management, and these products can improve device performance by removing unwanted software.

Ransomware removal tools questions

Before installing, ensure the software or freeware can do the following:

  • detect emerging threats;
  • block ransomware attacks; and
  • delete all traces of malware on the device to be certain it is clean.

Ransomware prevention and removal products

There is a wide variety of antivirus and antimalware products — both subscription-based and free — that can provide protection against ransomware attacks. Below are 17 products, each of which can be downloaded onto users’ laptops, desktops and mobile devices. All vendors offer individual, as well as enterprise-level, licensing — often bundled at 10 or more devices. Pricing depends on the number of devices being protected and the duration of the license.

If you’re undecided, consider vendors that provide a freeware version of their software to test before buying. Another option is to examine cloud service companies that offer their own antimalware software that includes anti-ransomware features. Some of the products are available for download from a cloud or managed services platform, rather than being downloaded and installed on local devices. Check with the vendor about available types of delivery. All pricing is per device unless otherwise noted.

  1. Avast Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download; free version available. Premium Security starts at $34.99/year; Ultimate Security starts at $49.99/year; 24/7 technical support available. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  2. Avira Antivirus Pro 2020 supports Windows and Mac; standard software download; free software available. Antivirus Pro starts at $44.99/year; Internet Security starts at $57.99/year; Prime starts at $99.99/year for five devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  3. AVG AntiVirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download; free version available. Internet Security starts at $44.28/year; AVG Ultimate starts at $59.88/year; 24/7 technical support available. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  4. Bitdefender supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Total Security starts at $44.99/year for five devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  5. BullGuard provides extensive support for Windows, limited support for Mac; standard software download. Antivirus 2021 starts at 29.99/year; Internet Security 2021 starts at $59.99/year for multiple devices; Premium Protection 2021 starts $99.99/year for multiple devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  6. ESET Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. NOD32 Antivirus starts at $39.99/year; Internet Security starts at $49.99/year; Smart Security Premium starts at $59.99/year; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  7. Intego Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Premium Bundle X9 starts at $79.99/year for five devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  8. Kaspersky Anti-Virus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. AntiVirus starts at $29.99/year for three PCs; Internet Security starts at $39.99/year for three devices; Total Security starts at $49.99/year for five devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  9. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware focuses primarily on malware, supports Windows and Mac; standard software download; free version available. Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response starts at $84.99/year; Endpoint Detection and Response for Servers starts at $299.99/year; 24/7 technical support available. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  10. McAfee Total Protection supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Total Protection 2021 starts at $34.99/year for one device; Total Protection Ultimate is $69.99/year for an unlimited number of devices; 24/7 technical support.
  11. Norton AntiVirus Plus and Norton 360 supports Windows and Mac; standard software download; cloud subscription available. Antivirus Plus starts at $39.99/year; Norton 360 Premium I starts at $54.99/year for 10 devices; Norton 360 with LifeLock Select starts at $99.48/year for five devices; Norton 360 with LifeLock Ultimate Plus starts at $299.88/year for 10 devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  12. Panda Dome Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Essential Security starts at $23.99/year; Advanced Security starts at $28.49/year; Complete Security starts at $42.99/year; Premium Security starts at $66.99/year; 24/7 technical support for Premium only. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  13. PCProtect Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download; free software available. Antivirus Pro starts at $39.99/year; 24/7 technical support available. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  14. Scanguard Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Essential Antivirus starts at $24.95/year; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  15. Trend Micro Security supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Antivirus+ Security starts at $29.95/year; Internet Security starts at $39.95/year for three devices; Maximum Security starts at $49.95/year for five devices; Premium Security Suite starts at $69.95/year for 10 devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  16. TotalAV supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Antivirus Pro 2021 starts at $29/year; Internet Security 2021 starts at $39/year for three devices; Total Security 2021 starts at $59/year for five devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.
  17. Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus supports Windows and Mac; standard software download. Antivirus starts at $39.99/year; Internet Security Plus starts at $59.99 for three devices; Internet Security Complete starts at $79.99 for five devices; 24/7 technical support. Custom pricing for multiple devices negotiated with the vendor.

How to use ransomware removal systems

If a device is malfunctioning and the anti-ransomware software flags an anomaly, users should suspect unauthorized and possibly virulent malware, even ransomware, on the system. Perform the following suggested steps to minimize the damage:

  1. Disconnect any active storage devices, such as CDs, DVDs and flash drives, from the device.
  2. Attempt to restart the system in safe mode.
  3. Once restarted, download a malware scanner if not already installed.
  4. Disconnect from the internet, shut down routers and disconnect network cables.
  5. Launch a scan of the system using the antimalware software.
  6. Follow the software instructions to remove malware.
  7. Locate and open locked and hidden files with a ransomware removal tool.
  8. If files have been encrypted and need a key to unlock access to them, it may be necessary to take the device to a security troubleshooting
  9. If files can be accessed and the antimalware software indicates the system is OK, restart the device.
  10. Install any updates to the OS, if indicated.
  11. Reconnect external devices, and test applications, devices and files.
  12. Delete and reset all existing passwords.

Ransomware removal can be a simple task if the device is running antimalware software properly maintained by the vendor and updated by the organization.

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