Every day, companies are falling victim to the ransomware epidemic. All it takes is a single click by you or one of your employees and your data may be gone forever – unless you pay the ransom. Fight back, don’t become a victim!

Should I Worry About Ransomware?

YES! If you don’t take steps to defend yourself and your business from this type of an attack, it will cost you a lot of money and can do irreparable damage to your business, possibly even forcing you to close your doors.

A few high-profile ransomware cases made the news, such as Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (paid $17,000) and The University of Calgary (paid $16,000). But, large businesses aren’t the only ones being targeted.

Small-to-Medium Businesses (SMBs) are now in the cross-hairs because they’re more likely to quickly pay the ransom since they are often less prepared to recover from an attack than their larger, better-funded brethren.

In fact, criminals are now increasing their ransom demands to what they think targeted businesses can afford based upon their research before-hand. This will cost SMBs thousands of dollars more in extortion payments going forward.

Here Are A Few FAQs

What is ransomware and why is it such a big problem?

More and more, ransomware has emerged as a major threat to businesses. Ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts data on infected systems, has become a lucrative option for cyber extortionists. When the malware is run, it locks victim’s files and allows criminals to demand payment to release them.

It’s a difficult problem because encryption in itself is not malicious. Encryption is actually good when used responsibly. It’s used in many systems you use everyday to protect privacy and transactions such as when buying products online or conducting banking over the web.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably well aware that ransomware is a hot topic in the news these days. Organizations of all types and sizes have been impacted, but small businesses can be particularly vulnerable to attacks. And ransomware is on the rise.
Ransomware is distributed in a variety of ways and is difficult to protect against because, just like the flu virus, it is constantly evolving.

Who is vulnerable to ransomware attacks?

Every person and business with internet access is vulnerable. Cybercriminals are after the highest profit and cast a wide net. Businesses are especially vulnerable because the data compromised is usually sensitive, vital to continuing operations and regulatory compliance.

If I Pay The Ransom, Then I’ll Get My Data Back And I’ll Be OK, Right?

NO! Hackers have changed their tactics from the early days. They now infiltrate your network, steal your data first, then encrypt your systems to increase their profit. They not only make money by selling your data on the Dark Web, but also from your ransom payment. By the way, since you’re dealing with criminals, how do you know they’ll keep their end of the bargain? The answer is, of course, that you don’t. Statistics show that 70% of ransomware attacks include the stealing of your data.

Do I Have To Report Ransomware Attacks To The Authorities?

Under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), if the data encrypted involves personal information, then yes, you must report it. Many countries and individual states in the United States are creating their own privacy laws modeled on the GDPR. Additionally, since most ransomware attacks involve the stealing of data, most likely, such attacks are reportable.

What does a ransomware attack look like?

Spam is the most common method for distributing ransomware. It is generally spread using some form of social engineering; victims are tricked into downloading an e-mail attachment or clicking a link. Fake email messages might appear to be a note from a friend or colleague asking a user to check out an attached file, for example.

Once the user takes action, the malware installs itself on the system and begins encrypting files. It can happen in the blink of an eye with a single click. Watch this video of a real ransomware attack:

How Can You Defend Your Business Against Ransomware?

The best defense is a layered approach making it difficult for ransomware to gain a foothold, and if it does, giving you the means to deal with it effectively. XSolutions’ Managed IT Security gives you the tools to fight back and quickly regain control of your network from cybercriminals. Here’s how:

Detection & Response
Today’s sophisticated threats require sophisticated protections. To guard your network against ransomware, malware attacks, and intrusions, you need 24/7/365 security that employs Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Managed Threat Response (MTR), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and finally, Security Operation Center (SOC) mechanisms to report and automatically remediate threats as they happen. Our Advanced Protection includes full detection and quick response to threats around-the-clock.

Security Assessments and Incident Response Plans
Security is much more than just sophisticated hardware and software. It is a mindset backed by continuous review, policies, and procedures in addition to advanced technological tools. Everything you do must be approached with security in mind. We’ll help you do that.

User Education
Awareness is key. Our Employee Training program teaches users to be security-aware. People are the weakest link in security. That’s why social engineers are so successful. We employee simulated phishing training, video security training, blogs on security issues, and a monthly security newsletter. These tools combine to increase awareness so employees can more easily spot scams before being tricked.

Security Best Practices
Overall good security is about closing off avenues to attackers so they don’t get into your systems in the first place or once in, they’re detected quickly and booted out. Best Practices are the way to accomplish this. We’ll harden your email system with Email SPF, DKIM, DMARC Monitoring, and Advanced SPAM Filtering to stop malicious emails before they get to your inbox, employ encryption to protect your data, install multifactor authentication to block unauthorized users, install network access controls to restrict entry, and screen incoming web pages to help stop infections.

Managed Backup
Backups are key to any security program. We’ll make sure your data is properly backed up and that you can recover should the unthinkable happen. We’ll monitor, maintain, and support your backup solution to ensure they’re viable and ready-to-go when needed.

A note about compliance

Cyber Insurance is an important part of every company’s overall security. The bad guys are constantly changing tactics and creating new ways to penetrate your network. Insurance companies know this, after all, their business is to mitigate their risk first ahead of yours. That’s why insurance companies are demanding that their clients follow sophisticated security protocols to reduce risk for both, their clients as well as themselves. Companies that don’t have security systems and protocols in place risk being denied coverage or are forced to pay higher premiums.

XSolutions’ Managed IT Security checks the boxes for insurance carriers because it shows that you have a security program in place with the ability for your security protections to evolve as threats do.

Don’t delay. Call (845) 362-9675 for a free Security Consultation. No matter your size, cybercriminals have your business in their crosshairs. Don’t become a victim. Call now.