As we’re all starting to think about tax season, allow me to present a scenario…
It’s Friday, April 14, 2017.
You’ve collected all your physical tax paperwork, meticulously itemized deductions, and forms into one folder. In fact, you’re already 90% done filling it out and you have the hand cramp to prove it! You deserve a fun night out with friends.
As you leave, you notice an Amazon package left on your doorstep. It looks a little larger than you expected, but surely your order just got here early. You bring it inside and head out. Today couldn’t be better!
When you get home, you resolve to sprint to the tax finish line so that you have all day Saturday to relax! But wait. There is a heavy padlocked titanium alloy box around your entire desk… where you left your tax folder.
A note on the box reads, “There is only one key to this box. If you attempt to break in, everything inside will be incinerated. You have 48 hours to give us $10,000 following the instructions below.”
The bank is closed tomorrow. You have a presentation at work on Monday. Your kid’s birthday is Tuesday.
And your CPA just left on vacation.
Drat. (Replace this one with your word/s of choice.)
In essence, this is what it feels like to get hit with ransomware on your computer.
Whether you get the ransomware through a seemingly safe email attachment (that seemingly innocent Amazon package) or through sophisticated tricks on websites, it locks down your entire computer remotely and demands payment to unlock it or your data will be lost forever.
Let’s be clear on one thing: If you don’t prepare for this kind of attack, you’ve already lost this battle. Once the ransomware is installed, you have 2 options: pay or lose everything.
Ransomware is an increasingly common method of attack for hackers against individuals, SMBs and enterprises alike. While the first incidents of ransomware were discovered in as early as 2005, the last three years have seen this type of threat explode in popularity and compromise millions of computers and mobile devices around the world. According to a new WatchGuard Technologies cybersecurity survey, more than four in five (80 percent) cybersecurity resellers believe ransomware will be their customers’ biggest concern this year.
So how do you plan for something so sudden and vile? You build a backup and disaster recovery plan.
No, not just a backup drive. That might work, as long as it wasn’t plugged into your computer during the attack. And as long as the hard drive itself doesn’t fail when you need it.
A popular concept in the IT services world is the “backup rule of three”:
- 3+ copies of everything important (because having only one left when one fails is surprisingly risky)
- 2+ different formats (hard drive, server, data disk, cloud, etc.)
- 1+ off-site backup/s (because if a fire destroys your office/home, this is your last defense)
When facing ransomware, it’s safe to say the first two rules above are key - but know that all three are absolutely vital.
Last but not least, as the saying goes, time is money. For your business, downtime is lost money. That’s why the final prong of your layered approach is to make sure your backup plan is set up your backup plan for fast implementation to make sure you have as little downtime as possible when disaster strikes.
Want to learn more about how to prepare for ransomware attacks? Receive a free consultation from BlackPoint IT today at 866.575.9512 or fill out our contact form and we'll call you.