Still Rolling the Dice?

Still Rolling the Dice?

I spend part of my week reviewing public security breach disclosures from companies large and small then share that information. It is amazing to me how many companies are still being victimized by ransomware! So many companies are failing to take this seriously until it’s too late. Here’s what you can do.

What is the Real Problem?

Over the last 2 years, I posted links to stories about health companies, support companies and city/county government offices here in the states, that have had to pay six figures to hackers in order to retrieve their data from ransomware thieves. Why do they continue to contribute to this problem? This is a cyber-crime vertical that is experiencing rapid yearly growth but is 100% preventable by its victims.

My message today is simple. Hackers do this because its profitable. $6,000,000,000+ in 2017, $13,000,000,000+ in 2018, and the figure are close to $32,000,000,000 in 2019. Companies are not taking this seriously enough. Ransomware grows because people do not protect their data properly, nor do they invest in the proper training needed for employees to properly recognize phishing threats that lead to the infection of their networks.

There are Solutions

Let’s talk about 3 ways a company can act now to prevent the loss of data to a Ransomware hacker by eliminating the need to pay to reclaim their data.

1. Bolster the Front Line – Data Protection

Problem: Most companies have deficient data protection plans and fail to test them frequently if they do. Failure to have either adequate data protection or regular testing of those systems results in catastrophic failure that costs big money. The fault falls 100% on the IT and Executive Management teams here.

Executives rely on the IT professionals they employs/contract to recommend, deploy, and enforce proper data protection plans. IT professionals are dependent on Executives acting on IT priorities and allocating proper resources to manage those plans. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard one blame the other when it hits the fan. It is the responsibility of both to communicate and arrive at a solution.Failure from either to come up with an effective solution ends up with the same result; paying hackers to retrieve their data.

Solution: Executives need to provide proper resources to IT to properly protect data. IT professionals need to provide proper data protection plans to deal with the threat of Ransomware. This mean redundant backup plans, both on-site and off-site with real-time recovery options and verifiable backup results. Regular testing of backup integrity and restoration methods. Real-time recovery methods like business continuity to reduce down-time and loss of productivity.

2. Recruit the Troops – Employee Training

Problem: Employees are being bombarded with email phishing schemes that look more and more like legitimate email. Lack of training on how to recognize these threats and how to report them to IT personnel continue to plague companies.

Solution: Start allocating proper resources for employee cyber-security awareness and procedures on reporting possible issues to IT. Make them part of the solution. This has been deemed to be a major combatant in the war against Ransomware.

3. Defense is the Best Offense – Utilizing Cloud-basked Solutions

Problem: Too many people do not understand the hidden benefits Cloud-based solution bring to any business. It would be impossible for any individual small to medium business to replicate the advantages Cloud brings to the table internally. Here are some you can use now to work along side your existing deployments.

Solutions: Backup Your Office 365 deployments. We offer a service that backups up your Office365 data directly. This mean we integrate with Microsoft’s Cloud to backup your email, OneDrive, and SharePoint/Teams files. No need for a client application to be running on your PCs or Server. We backup Cloud-to-Cloud.

Cloud-based Backup and Disaster Recovery. We offer cloud-based backup that can backup/restore files for desktops and servers. Desktops are very important as that is where 95% of Ransomware starts and moves on to connected servers. Ransomware can affect local network connected backups and file sharing services such as Dropbox, GoogleDrive and OneDrive.

Put your business in the Cloud. With solutions like Quasar Complete, your entire business can be Cloud-based, completely eliminating the risks of down-time caused by Ransomware and hardware failure with automated hourly backup of all desktops/servers, and redundant hardware,networks and systems. Guaranteeing your business with 99.99% up-time.

4. Vigilance – Real-time Network Monitoring

Many firewall solutions and cloud companies offer real-time network security monitoring. These solutions use AI and other tools to identify network traffic that doesn’t belong in your network. Isolates the source of that traffic and protects the rest of the network from the detected threat. This technology is called ATR or Active Threat Remediation. These types of solutions protect against the new methods being used by hackers.

Hacker are camping in networks. They disable the tools meant to detect their presence and linger. They take their time and explore, looking for the best ways to hurt you. It like someone hacking into the security video in your home to find out where you hide the most valuable stuff. They just hang out watch and observe. They when they know where everything is, they take it. They may know you can get it back from a backup, but that doesn’t stop them from disrupting your network, creating downtime and selling the information they stole from you to the highest bidder on the Dark Web.

If you are doing all these things in your business, I applaud you for taking this seriously. The FBI and HSC have been the key-note speakers at most Cyber-security conferences I’ve attended in the last 6 months. Their main message is: we are ramping up ways to help businesses. It’s not a manner of if but when.

Our company specializes in creating safe redundant infrastructure for companies with guaranteed uptime of 99.99%. If you want a secure, fast and reliable ITY environment for your company that does everything I mentioned her as standard practice; including providing on-going Cyber-security training for your employees at no additional cost. Connect with me at your convenience and let talk!

Even if you use another service, there is no excuse for being a victim of Ransomware. It is 100% preventable. Do something about it and be a part of the solution, not the problem!