If recent national news has proven anything, it’s that ransomware attacks are on the rise. Especially for businesses here in the United States where approximately 39% of all worldwide ransomware attacks take place, new technology has made ransomware attacks both harder to prevent and harder to untangle once hackers have gotten into your internal infrastructure. Our managed security offerings, backup and disaster recovery, and tech infrastructure design services have helped business owners throughout the Midwest and across the nation avoid the frustration of a full-fledged attack.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a form of malware designed to cause instability by encrypting files on a device. Then, the individual or group who organized the attack will demand a ransom in order to decrypt the file or files that were disrupted. Think of it like kidnapping, but instead of a person, these bad actors are after your private business information. This has been a growing issue, specifically in government entities, municipal utility companies, and other organizations that handle critical infrastructure, but now, even small- to mid-sized businesses are becoming targets for bad actors. Experts have estimated that ransomware and associated spending (loss of revenue due to inability to work, paying ransoms, etc.) will cost businesses somewhere between $20 and $25 billion in this year alone, and those numbers are rising every year. This has left many business owners wondering how they can protect themselves and their sensitive information before issues arise.
Whether you’re preventing a ransomware attack or recovering from one, DataVizion has solutions to help!
Recent Ransomware Attack in Omaha
A manufacturing facility near Omaha, Nebraska was the target of a ransomware attack recently. Hackers accessed company systems through existing remote access connectivity, and they managed to bring operations to a screeching halt for about two weeks. That meant no emails, no ordering products, no sending invoices to customers, and no paying vendors. Some floor production remained operational, but with manual processes and paper trails, even production was down.
Now, more than a month later, the company is still in negotiations to have their information released, with the party involved asking for upwards of $100,000. Add that to the business costs lost by the inability to operate, and leadership has come to a few realizations about the future of their digital landscape.
Firstly, they realized that their company’s basic insurance coverage does not include ransomware coverage, leaving them to cover all costs with no help. Next, they realized that the sophistication of these modern attacks means having safe and timely backups in place is more important than ever. With the right backups, they could have restored their business easier, faster, and cheaper. The last and most important lesson learned by leadership at this manufacturing company is that in the event of a ransomware attack, you’re going to end up paying big bucks no matter what. The costs associated with the attack, legal fees, emergency IT assistance, lack of operations, and upgrading to new equipment add up quickly, so it’s actually more frugal to pay for great IT security upfront and avoid a ransomware attack in the first place.
Preventing Ransomware Attacks
There are a few simple steps that businesses of any size should be taking in order to protect themselves, their customer’s information, and their bottom line from the misfortune of a ransomware attack.
- Prepare Ahead of Time: The best offense is always a great defense. That means creating and actually enforcing your security policies (yes, that includes regularly making new, unique passwords), ensuring all software is updated consistently, using multi-factor authentication, and training your employees to spot strange or malicious behavior in all areas of your technological infrastructure.
- Create Additional Protections for Highly Sensitive Information: Cyber criminals will always try to attack your most important information. From the systems that keep your physical building operational to sensitive data like customer payment information, keep all your most private data under multiple levels of security.
- Use Experts to Manage Threats: Having a third party team of IT experts manage your cyber security is a great way to ensure you know about threats as soon as they pop up.
- Create & Regularly Test Response Protocols: Should a threat to your business’ security emerge, it’s important to know how you’ll respond. Create a plan of attack (pun intended) and practice your response, so everyone knows what their responsibilities are when those threats arise.
Manage Threats with DataVizion
DataVizion is an industry-leading provider of security options for small- to mid-sized businesses, including manufacturing, healthcare, and even mom and pop shops across the country. We’re able to directly assist small business customers and larger mid-sized corporations with everything from managed IT security to network segmentation services. Our ransomware avoidance tactics also include:
- Management of border and edge security: Stopping the threat from being able to access a network
- Endpoint protection: Protecting the endpoint from being susceptible to ransomware attacks.
- Patch management: Distributing and applying updates to software vulnerabilities in a timely manner.
- Backups/Disaster recovery services: Restoring your network to the most recent update in the event that a cyber criminal is able to gain access to the network.
Talk with our experts today to schedule a security posture assessment so we can ensure your technological infrastructure best protects your business, your customers, and your employees from ransomware attacks.