Today, one of the more difficult situations that a business or municipality can face, is a cybersecurity attack whereby business data is attacked and held hostage for money by a cybercriminal. This is commonly known as Ransomware and the motive is typically monetary with payment demands usually made in Bitcoin. According to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40% of businesses do not reopen after a Ransomware attack and another 25% of businesses fail with one year.
In 2018, Ransomware attackers cost the world more than $8 billion and industry analysts predict that the costs for 2019 will exceed $15 billion. That estimate does not include the costs to fix and repair any IT related issues – which is estimated to be an additional $75 billion for 2019.
With the potential risk and costs being so high, what can you do to help protect your business from a Ransomware attack?
- Data Backup. Redundancy is the key when it comes to your data backup. An external hard drive attached to your computer or server is not adequate anymore. You must have the backup also stored off-site. You must also verify that the backups are working properly. Often times, a backup drive can get full and no longer be backing up data.
- Business-class Firewall. Relying on the internet modem to provide the firewall is not enough to stop a hacker from accessing your network. A business-class firewall will help protect your business. Adding rules and restrictions to the firewall, including what websites are prohibited from being accessed from within the business are essential.
- Strong security software. Gone are the days when a business should be using “free” anti-virus software. Software that includes anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-malware , endpoint security (i.e. flash drives), and ransomware protection are a necessity.
- Education. Teach your staff well on the business results of a Ransomware infection. Advise them on what not to click on and what not to open. If an email arrives from someone that they do not know with an attachment, delete it. Be cautious when opening any attachments, especially Zip files.
- Disaster Recovery Program. This program can help you and your staff know what to do in the case of an infection or other disaster. You need to be prepared for the unknown. This program can also help you for weather related events (i.e. Hurricane, Tornado, Flood) as well as a Ransomware attack.
If the idea of a Ransomware attack does not concern you, it should. However, by proactively working with a team of Information Technology Professionals like Elijah, you can help ward off such attacks and strengthen your business in the process.
Founded in 2003, ELIJAH is a multi-award-winning leader in providing expert digital forensic, data security solutions, and managed IT. ELIJAH is owned and managed by former litigation partners and is an efficient boutique digital forensic, cybersecurity and IT solutions provider that makes clients’ lives easier through effective communication and white glove service. For additional information, please visit https://www.elijaht.com or call 866-354-5240.