If you’re involved in the day-to-day operations of running a business, you’ve heard the buzzword, “ransomware.” You may be fully educated on the subject or maybe you’ve just heard the term thrown around, but either way, you’re bound to know that…
Ransomware is a serious threat.
In simple terms, ransomware is designed to completely encrypt a victim’s file system and cause data loss OR, in worse case scenarios, take money from the target victim. Every year, as technologies evolve, ransomware gets more complex and the threats come with bigger consequences.
Ransomware Threats of 2019
In May of this year, Baltimore City government’s computer network was attacked, and the ransomware left the city in a chaotic state for over a month. Once the threat was mitigated, the total cost of recovery, ransom, and rebuilding was over $18 million. Similar events occurred last month in multiple Florida cities putting their government on high alert as well.
These attacks, if nothing else, prove that no business is safe when it comes to cybercriminals and their strategic ransomware attacks.
Be Hyperaware on Holidays
Ransomware is a threat every day, but you should be hyperaware around the holidays because that’s when cybercriminals like to get creative. This Thursday, on the Fourth of July, we want you to celebrate with firework explosions in the sky, not in your network…
Hackers love the times throughout the year when most people are taking it easy and stepping away from monitoring the “behind the scenes” of their business. We know you’ll likely be indulging in all kinds of July 4th activities such as parades; BBQs; and red, white, and blue colored treats. However, while you’re doing this… who’s watching your network?
Fireworks in The Sky, Not in Your Network
Of course, we still want you to enjoy your Independence Day, so here are 4 tips for what you can do to prepare before the 4th of July:
1. Have a backup & disaster recovery plan in place BEFORE you head out for the holiday. If you need tips on planning or how to properly recover from a disaster, check out our blog post on 6 steps to successful disaster recovery.
2. Make sure your staff is properly trained in procedures and protocols. Believe it or not, the people on the inside of your business are one of the biggest threats to cybersecurity. If your employees are not trained in identifying and avoiding potential threats, your entire network is at risk.
3. Make sure your internal IT team or MSP patches software and runs all updates before you close down for the holiday. Any software systems that are out-of-date are perfect entryways for cybercriminals to reach your network.
4. Consider having a dedicated employee or outsourced team to be “on-call” for monitoring your network in case of an attempted intrusion. This is the Sierra team’s bread and butter. Our engineers can proactively monitor and manage security incidents on a real-time basis within your network. This can give you peace of mind (especially during holiday downtime), as well as free up time for your internal IT staff. Learn more about Sierra’s monitoring services.
It’s Not Too Late. It’s Never Too Late.
If you still need to implement any or all of the points listed above, and you don’t have time to do so before the upcoming patriotic holiday, it’s not too late!
There are plenty of holidays left this year and in years to come that you can and should prepare for. If you start securing your network now, you’ll be ready for the Thanksgiving / Christmas holidays (the MOST POPULAR time of year for cyberattacks!)
Sierra Experts is an IT Managed Service and Support provider, specializing in IT Monitoring and Management, Cloud/Virtual Systems, Hosting, VoIP/SIP PBX Trunks and Solutions, Physical Server Hosting, Website Design and Development, Software Development, and Hardware and Software reselling. For more, check out www.SierraExperts.com