Ransomware Attacks are Increasing Against Established Organizations

When it comes to ransomware, this cyberattack scheme isn’t new, but it has become increasingly common over the past several years. Many of the viruses lurking out there steal data to be used for nefarious purposes, with the goal having long been to access important financial and personal data that can be sold off. Not ransomware. Ransomware generally does not access your data to sell off to criminals. Instead, the virus kidnaps your data until you pay the ransom.

Understanding How Ransomware is Different

Going back to other forms of cyber-attacks: they focus on credit card numbers that can be sold and used to buy things or social security numbers that can be sold to be used to create fake identities. In the case of many viruses, victims may never even be aware their data has been accessed. Typical malware and spyware tries to go undetected.

How Ransomware Works

Ransomware stops you from using your PC, files, or programs. It holds your data, software, or entire PC hostage until you pay a ransom to get it back. When an attack occurs, you suddenly have no access to a computer – a screen appears announcing your files are encrypted and that you need to pay (usually in bitcoins) to regain access. In some cases, there may be a nerve-wracking clock ticking down to the deadline for the ransom payment. Some versions are so sophisticated they even have mini call centers to handle your payments and questions.

What Happens After a Ransomware Attack?

Ransomware stands out from most viruses in that you really have no option once an attack has been made. You either pay up or lose the data.

Have a Data Backup?

The only sure answer is a safe, clean backup. In that case, you are stuck with the nuisance of restoring your data with the backup, but you aren’t out any money. However, this comes with a caveat: your backups have to be clean. The problem with ransomware viruses is that just making backups may not be sufficient to protect your data, as the backups can be infected also.

Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The only answer is to be aware that these viruses are out there and that you have to make careful, specific plans to protect your data. It is essential that your backup and disaster recovery plans are designed with a ransomware attack in mind. When it comes to making data security and disaster recovery plans, you should consider bringing in experts with a strong background in this field. Lost data is not something any contact center can easily recover from.

Further Reading on Ransomware

Want to learn more? Check out our other blog articles on ransomware, from how to deal with it to how Triton Technologies protects against it.

Want to learn more about proactive protection and talk about your practice’s cybersecurity? Contact us today. We don’t just protect against ransomware but provide a full suite of cybersecurity and IT support for all your projects and IT infrastructure.

Ransomware and Disaster Recovery Plans

Disaster recovery is a fundamental element of good business continuity planning. Business continuity planning refers to the broad range of plans created so that a business can continue to be operational no matter what negative event might occur. Business continuity planning addresses catastrophic events, from loss of a CEO, director, or other principal in the organization to severe natural disasters that incapacitate a physical location. Disaster recovery planning is one piece of this broad planning. Specifically, disaster recovery plans refer to how to quickly recover from some event that compromises your IT infrastructure.

Part of Your Disaster Planning: Ransomware

In general, smaller businesses without any or single-person IT staffs utilize the services of a managed service provider (MSP) to develop disaster recovery plans. One piece of your disaster recovery planning needs to address how the contact center can protect its data from a ransomware attack. Unlike more well-known viruses, ransomware doesn’t just access your data, it locks it down so it is unusable. The business model behind this approach is simple: they are betting you will have no segregated backups and will be willing to buy back access to your data.

Is Your Data Properly Backed Up?

The only real defense against a ransomware attack is offensive. Just routinely making backups of your data may not necessarily protect it from being held hostage. Talk to your managed service provider about the design of your backups and how they are structured, so you will always have a “clean” copy of your data. If you want to defeat the designers of ransomware, your only real solution is to have uninfected backups. As long as you have these, you can simply refuse to pay the ransom. In the case of this virus, offense is the only defense that will keep your business data safe.

Make Sure Your Backup System Get Audited

The most important thing you can do to make sure your data cannot be held ransom is strictly adhering to a regimen of backups. Routinely backup your data. However, even backups may not be foolproof. If your data has been infected and you are unaware of it, or the backup is not segregated from your network, your backups may also become corrupted. Given the severe consequences of a ransomware attack to a business, consider having a security evaluation done by a managed service provider who will have the security expertise to advise you on the best backup protocols for your situation.

From providing superior managed online backups to business continuity planning, Triton Technologies is here to help. We can be called in to help proactively prevent ransomware, as well as provide full IT infrastructure audits and consultation. Contact us today to get started.