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Don’t Let A Simple Mistake Take Your Business Hostage

Does Your Business Have A Plan For Ransomware?

Could You Afford A $250,000 Mistake?

2018 was the year of ransomware. According to the 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, while malware and hacking breaches have been on a slight decline, the use of ransomware has skyrocketed. Criminals attracted to ease of use and minimal risks have flocked to the strategy in droves, costing businesses across Canada millions of dollars in the process. About $301 million to be exact, as stated in Datto’s 2017 State of the Channel Ransomware Report.

Not Just Businesses At Risk

But, of course, businesses aren’t the only organizations that have been hit by the ransomware epidemic. Take the the 2018 hijacking of information from the regional communities of Wasaga Beach ON, Midland, ON and Mekinac, QC. In 2 cases the servers were compromised by a virus sent to an employeeOnce opened, the malware was downloaded onto the computer, giving the hackers access to the entire network. The hackers then encrypted all the data and held it hostage for ransom. Once a system's data is encrypted, it's virtually impossible to crack the code without a key -- and there is nothing police can do about it.

"You either pay or you don't get the data."

Midland and Mekinac each paid $30,000. Wasaga Ontario, is quoting over $250,000 in ransom as well as lost productivity time.

Nowhere Too Small

While most people believe only large corporations are at risk, cyber-criminals cast a wide net. Where most of the time, it’s more profitable to target dozens of virtually unprotected, smaller organizations than to draw the ire of big fish like the Canadian government. If you were a small-time criminal, would you rather break into 10 high-end, unlocked homes, or pull a single, complicated Ocean’s Eleven-style heist? Attackers generally follow the path of least resistance. Your business needs a plan.

Train Your Staff To Recognize Risk

So, what do you do in response? Toughen up your barriers, tighten up your processes and enlist your entire staff in the battle against ransomware.

Ransomware attackers don’t steal your data, they just lock you out of it. So the best way to make your organization secure is to make sure a ransomware breach won’t actually affect your day-to-day operations. That means regular backups, scattered throughout your primary network in places that won’t be compromised by the spreading malware. When ransomware hits, all you need to do is hunt down the source, delete it, and roll the entire system back.

The vast majority of ransomware attacks happen through phishing e-mails, which means employees are usually the ones to open the gates that let the malware in. Luckily, it’s easy to train them and put procedures in place that will prevent them from ever clicking that shady link.

Enlist The Experts

Of course, the best way to keep ransomware at bay is by putting a skilled team on the case. A managed services provider has the combined know-how, time and resources to proactively manage your network security, implementing systems that will make it all but impossible for ransomware to penetrate your data. To truly seal up all the holes in your digital security, it takes a complex, comprehensive strategy. Bring in the experts and ensure your business doesn’t become another statistic in the age of digital crime.