The Threat of Ransomware

Ransomware is the top cybersecurity concern facing your business today.  Ransomware is not only a threat to your business, but also a real threat to the technology infrastructure of your nation and the world.

The Real Threat of Ransomware

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

The Full Scoop

Ransomware is the top cybersecurity threat affecting business organizations today. A major US Pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, has recently had to halt operations due to a Ransomware attack. This is deeply impactful, as Colonial Pipeline delivers 45% of the fuel consumed on the US East Coast. The threat to business operations, hospitals, utilities and governments is substantial.

Ransomware is a hacking technique where an end user is tricked into opening a file or email attachment. The file attachment acts as a trojan horse that proceeds to encrypt the data files on your machine. Bad actors demand payment from you to recover your data. Encrypting ransomware is not the only type of ransomware and is a prevalent issue for businesses.

Tips to use

  • Training

    Be sure you are training your end users. IT vendors can setup a world of security, but your employees are a line of defense that hackers are going to directly target and manipulate. Keep in mind that 95% of Successful Security Attacks are due to human error.
  • System Updates

    • Security threats are constantly evolving. Always update your computer with the latest vendor security patches. Not only your personal work computer either, any device running an Operating System on your network will need occasional updates. Think about all the hardware you have; networking devices, servers, phone systems. If it is running software, it likely has security weaknesses.
  • Advanced Threat Detection

    • Gone are the days of needing a simple firewall and antivirus protection on your local computer. Security solutions exist that will monitor your network and systems and data in real time, against far more than just viruses. These solutions keep themselves updated, and look for patterns while notifying your technology team of threats. Your can do more to protect your systems. So while budgets are important, speak with your trusted IT Partner about solutions that could protect you.
  • Insurance

    • Invest in an internal cybersecurity insurance policy. This can help offset the cost in lost downtown and wages. Be sure to speak with your insurance provider to understand what the insurance is really covering. Policies often have caps on the amount of coverage for Ransomware, and may only help with investigation; but will not compensate you for lost wages.
  • Backups

    • When all lines of defense fail, be sure you have on-site and off-site backups you can restore from – and test those backups! Do not assume your backup jobs are working. Set aside time to occasionally test that they are fully functional. Understand that cyber criminals will try to corrupt or encrypt your backups files too, which is why having an off-site copy is critical.

Take Steps to Prepare for the Threat of Ransomware

A Ransomware attack can cause downtime approaching three weeks, and the costs are growing astronomically.  Take steps today to look into whether you are not only a target, because you are, but how well you would fare if a Ransomware attack happened to you.