By now, I’m assuming most of you have heard about Baltimore. If not, they were recently hit with a ransomware attack. A very directed deliberate attack, designed to find their most vulnerable link in their network. It brought the entire city to a standstill. It’s estimated that it will take them months to recover, and cost millions. The culprits are requesting the equivalent of 100K in bitcoins.

Today, this is all too common. The days of relying on antivirus alone is over. Attacks now are directed, complex, and have a specific goal….to put a company, a city….a state in a position of mercy. So, what does your chain of security look like? Where are is your weak link? Do you know if your servers and workstations are patched regularly? Do you know if your firewall and networking equipment is up to date with most recent patched firmware? Do your users know their part in protecting your network and intellectual property? Are you utilizing a multi-tiered approach to security? If you don’t know these questions, who does? Hopefully not just the bad actors.

Unfortunately, these types of attacks, are no longer an IF, but a WHEN. Your business WILL be attacked. The questions is, will you be prepared? Will you have the necessary tools to hopefully prevent the attack? And in the event that an attack is successful, do  you have proper disaster recovery processes in place to have your business back up and running before you are loosing too much revenue?

Here’s some staggering statistics:

  1. A new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 14 seconds in 2019, and every 11 seconds by 2021.
  2. 1.5 million new phishing sites are created every month.
  3. Ransomware attaches have increased over 97% in the past two years.
  4. 34% of businesses hit with malware took a week or more to regain access to their data.
  5. In 2019 ransomware from phishing emails increased 109% over 2017.
  6. An IBM study suggested that over a quarter of all companies would pay more than $20,000 to hackers to retrieve data that had been stolen.

So, the next question is; what do you do? How do you protect yourself from these constant security threats? First, start with prevention measures:

  1. Have a good antivirus; this is not a complete protection, but definitely the place to start.
  2. Make sure that your hardware is current, and properly patched.
  3. Implement a firewall with UTM or Unified Threat Management features.
  4. Implement a DNS filtering solution.
  5. Start a cyber security training course for your companies computer users.
  6. Start a phishing campaign to your computers users to identify vulnerable users.

These are just some of the steps a company can take towards successful prevention tactics. The next, most important step is having a disaster recovery plan in place. Backups alone are not enough. You need to analyze how much down time is acceptable for your business, and work backwards from there on how you will achieve that time frame for your recovery, implementing systems that will be able to achieve that acceptable recovery timeline.

If you’re not sure where you are with your level of protection, please call us. We offer complete IT assessments, security assessments, multi-tiered security solutions, complete data protection and recovery products, as well as a team dedicated to your businesses’ success in minimizing your risk and protecting your data.