Myth Buster – Ransomware Has Come and Gone

Ransomware has been around for a long time and, although it’s not quite as prominent on the news, it’s still very prominent in the wild.  The first ransomware was released in 1991 and has been around ever since.  Sometime around 2006 Archiveus was the first to use encryption to give further enticement to its victims to pay the ransom.  You know, pay the ransom or your data will be inaccessible FOREVER.  Its progression and proliferation have continued ever since.

By way of refresher, Ransomware is a cyber-attack that holds your data until you pay a ransom.  That ransom can be a few hundred dollars and it keeps going up from there.  Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that ransomware will cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.  Yes, it’s a thing and it’s still causing lots of damage AND money in the marketplace. Even if you don’t pay the ransom, the recovery costs can easily run into the 10’s of millions.

There are some things you can do to help protect and prepare your organization.

Training is a really big one.  If your employees don’t know the risks, what to look for and what to do if something is suspicious, your risks go through the roof.

I won’t go all “geek” on you here but there are some things that can be done to protect your network itself to help to mitigate the risks and lessen the damage that ransomware can have on your network.  If you don’t know what that is, you need to give us a call.

In a lot of cases, application and operating system vendors find the vulnerabilities early and release patches that help to mitigate the risks as well.  The simple task of keeping your systems fully patched can go a long way.

Ransomware holds your data hostage by encrypting that data.  In a lot of cases, simply having an effective backup plan in place will allow you to skip paying the ransom and simply restore the data from an unencrypted backup and save you a TON of money.

A documented Disaster Recovery plan, detailing the “what and how” in case of an attack, can save you a lot of time and money.  There are even insurance options available that can be useful as well. 

If you have any questions about any of this or would like an assessment of your risks, give us a call.  We can help!