Ransomware: A form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files. A ransom is demanded to restore access to the data and instructions are given on how to pay the fee to get the decryption key.
Did you know that this type of attack has become so common in the business world today that there are ransomware recovery companies that deal with only these events? The cost of ransomware attacks was over $7.5 billion in 2019 and is estimated to grow higher than $20 billion by the end of 2020. If your company has fallen victim to one of these attacks, you are not alone.
Read on for two very different stories…. (artistic license has been taken with these events 😉)
The Relaxation Company was an organization that had grown exponentially over the past few years, opening branches in several different US states, Canadian provinces and European countries. One day the unthinkable happened. A staff member opened an email and clicked on the embedded link. Within seconds, this big warning appeared on their computer screens:
They powered down all their workstations and servers, but it was too late. All files were encrypted. And since their network spanned the US, Canada and Europe – all of their branches were affected. Business was, essentially, at a standstill. The IT department checked all the backups and they were also encrypted. Offsite backups were reviewed and found to be old and irrelevant. They immediately paid the fee and received the encryption key and started to work at restoring their files. New servers, workstations and laptops were purchased and configured. Software vendors were contacted for installations and the encrypted data restored. New security protocols were put in place and new anti-virus and anti-malware was installed. Sales people and retail outlets were recording sales on paper and manually recording credit card information to keep business running and meet all their customer commitments. It took over 4 weeks for everything to get back to ‘normal’ – which wasn’t really normal at all because the sales staff and the accounting staff had 4 weeks’ worth of sales and data to enter into the system before things truly got back to running smoothly 7 weeks after the attack.
Chill Company, Inc. was a direct competitor of The Relaxation Company. They also had branches in the US, Canada, and Europe with a network linking all the branches. The week after The Relaxation Company was struck by the ransomware, Chill Company, Inc. was also hit. An employee was browsing the internet on their lunch break and clicked on a link that downloaded the malicious software. All stations received the skull and crossbones messages shortly thereafter. The IT department went to work immediately. They brought in a new server and restored their offsite backup from the prior evening. Workstations and laptops were wiped clean and windows re-installed. During this time, employees used spare laptops and old workstations that had been stored, ready for recycling, to access the internet and continue working. There was essentially no downtime, and the office was resurrected and back up and running again in 3 days. (And they managed to steal 4 customers from their competitor while that company was not working efficiently!)
Why the difference?? Chill Company, Inc. was using preventative measures in their business to avoid down-time – for any reason.
Let’s take a look at some available preventative steps that will help you withstand a ransomware attack:
This may be the biggest and most effective course of action to avoid the pain of a ransomware attack and losing your accounting and customer service data. Equation Technologies offers a Cloud Hosting Solution that will help, not only to avoid the pain of a ransomware attack, but will also ease the burden of your whole IT experience. Equation’s cloud hosting solution offers the following benefits:
Maintain complete control over your data but leave the responsibility for it to Equation! Reduce your capital cost on hardware purchases and virtually eliminate IT maintenance costs associated with your ERP system. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your data is well secured.
Once you have this biggest initiative in place, there are some other actions that you can take.
Don’t let your data fall into the wrong hands.
Secure your data, protect your company.
Contact Equation today