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In recent weeks, we are seeing ransomware attacks show up everywhere. The truth is it is nothing new; it’s been around a long time. When doing “Family IT Support” (all IT professionals are also IT support for their extended family), I experienced this many time with XP. There seemed for a few years to be a decrease in the amount of ransomware attacks we were seeing, until now.
It is becoming one of the leading ways for cyber criminals to extract value. In the past, they would steal your credit card or personal information, then resell it, or use it to someone how extract money. That seems like so much work to them now. The cyber-thief can now go directly to the source they stole from and get paid! It really is scary, I’m an IT professional that has a pretty good handle on IT Security, and even I worry about my personal and business data.
What to do… First, I’m not writing this article for the large government or commercial clients that ITS maintains. These organizations have huge teams of Cyber Security professionals that fight this battle every day. While my company has unique offerings that provide these customers value every day, this format is not the appropriate way to address those needs, nor could a simple article like this address the complexity of their systems. My advice is intended more for the small companies that do not have a full time IT Professional focused on security or the larger ones that just have not done a good job of keeping up with this changing world.
The typical excuse I get is that they are not accustom to investing in cyber security, or that it is too expensive. People, ransomware and the after effect of never being fully secure is far more expensive then whatever you need to do. There are other things that you would preemptively invest in to ensure that it does not happen, it is time to do the same for cyber security.
Paying the ransom is only the beginning of your true cost if a ransomware event happens at your organization.
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