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February 18, 2016

Don't Fall Victim To Ransomware: Take Action To Protect Your Business

As an executive, you have to make a lot of tough decisions on a daily basis. This is the nature of your job. There’s one decision you should never have to make, though, and that it is trying to choose between forever losing your business’s sensitive data from a ransomware attack, and paying a hacker to recover it.

Ransomware, in case you're not familiar, is an aggressive type of malware that infects a network, encrypts private data (thus rendering it unreadable) and demands a large ransom through a digital payment service like Bitcoin. CryptoLocker is the most common form of ransomware on the Web.

Part of what makes ransomware so tough to deal with is the fact that once your system gets infected, it becomes a lose-lose situation. If you pay the ransom, the hackers essentially win. They become richer and therefore more confident in their extortion capabilities. If you don’t pay the ransom, you most likely will never see the data again. And in some cases, this can be very damaging to your business depending on the quality and quantity of the information that is at stake.

For a great example of what a ransomware attack looks like, consider what recently happened to the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center of Los Angeles, which was forced to pay a whopping $17,000 to regain access to its private information. Following the incident, a spokesman from the hospital stated that paying the ransom was the quickest and most efficient solution to the problem.

Ransomware, it should be noted, is in most cases too advanced for even law enforcement agencies to counteract. In most cases involving ransomware, law enforcement agencies actually recommend paying the hackers and getting the data back as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, there is typically little that can be done.  

But according to Larry Szebeni, President of Apex Technology Services—Fairfield County’s premier computer consulting firm—there is a much better way to handle the situation. Take action ahead of time to protect your data.

“The worst part about the recent ransomware incident at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center is that the situation could have been easily avoided by taking simple preventative measures,” Szebeni explained. “For example, if the company had backed up its data and stored it offsite in a secure location, it wouldn’t have been forced to pay the ransom. All organizations storing sensitive data should learn from this disaster.”

So spring to action and protect your business’s sensitive data before hackers can again access to it. To learn how Apex Technology Services can help, click here

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