Ransomware continues to be one of the most prevalent cybersecurity threats around. A single click from an unsuspecting user causes all the files on a company’s network to be encrypted and only released after a user pays a ransom. The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team warns not to pay the ransom because you don’t know who you are funding and there is no guarantee you’ll get your files back. Worse yet, the money you spend will likely be reinvested in new and more elaborate techniques to infect your computers in the future.
Some weeks back we reported that ransomware proceeds could fund ISIS. We also told you the problem is probably worth more than a billion dollars a year – a figure the FBI later agreed with.
Sadly, hackers have become entrepreneurs or hacktrepeneurs – enterprising criminals who thrive on creative hacking to make a living. When you have a market worth a billion dollars or more and little chance of prosecution based on past history, it seems there is no reason why criminals shouldn’t become emboldened and come up with new ways to make you part with your money.
The latest scheme is like the old scam – a single link encrypts the files on your network and you get a message requiring you to pay. You have 24 hours to pay five bitcoins which is $2,300 and after than time the price doubles! The difference is the attacker says the money will go to a children’s charity.
Apex Technology Services received at least two calls per month from new customers who do not back up their computers. In some cases, companies do backups but only a single daily backup which is kept on premises. The calls come from various areas of New York City and Connecticut.
When such companies get hit, their entire business is at risk of ceasing because as the authorities warn, there is zero guarantee you get your files back if you pay the ransom.
For the sake of your company, hire an experienced cybersecurity professional and put together a backup and business continuity plan and test it.
Your company is literally at risk and the cost to protect yourself is generally quite reasonable.
Our company is happy to help meet your cybersecurity and ransomware protection needs – even if you don’t hire us to implement a solution we are happy to be a sounding board and give you advice on industry best practices.
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