7 Reasons South Florida Companies Can’t Afford to Ignore Ransomware Protection
Does your South Florida company use the Internet in any way to conduct its business? Of course, that is a foolish question today. “Am I fully protected from ransomware attacks?” is a second question that is far from foolish.
A Real and Growing Threat
Ransomware is in the news, and it’s not good news. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, organizations around the globe will face costs from ransomware greater than $20 billion by 2021. As these attacks become more frequent the amounts demanded continue to increase.
As of the last quarter of 2019 that number was $84,116 average per successful hack. Reports are that one company paid more than $880,000 to get a decryption key in 2019. Other cases have involved much more. All sources note that the situation is probably much worse as many companies do not report successful attacks.
Malwarebytes reports a greater than 500 percent increase in detection of the Ryuk virus that is at the core of many ransomware attacks. The numbers present a clear and present danger: ransomware is an expensive and growing danger to your company.
When a ransomware hack is successful, the targeted company faces major challenges to survival. The worst attacks stop all company operations by preventing access to any business systems and the files and data they use. Customer and employee information is totally blocked from any access. The company is threatened with the destruction or dissemination of this information if the ransom payment is not made.
The immediate and long-term damage from such an attack is the business owner’s worst nightmare. It represents immediate damage to operations and the company brand. The consequences of these attacks also present the potential for long-term and ongoing costs and loss of image.
This stark reality is the first reason for seeking ransomware protection in South Florida. The potential damage to your business requires a proactive stance before you are attacked. You must also be prepared with an aggressive response if an attack does breach your cybersecurity.
Ransomware Targets South Florida Businesses
Statistics also show that businesses in the Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach areas are prime targets for this type of security breaches. A quick review of these six additional facts about ransomware underline the importance of proper ransomware protection in South Florida:
- When an attack is successful, your corporate files are locked with encryption tools that are virtually unbreakable. Such attacks will often change individual file extensions, making them unusable. The hacker will then threaten to destroy and/or sell you company data.
- Attacks often come from a company’s extended network of users. This means that the access you allow for your remote workers and your customers are prime doorways for an attack. With the current and post-covid environment making remote access more common, it also makes these attacks more likely and more likely to succeed.
- Your greatest vulnerability comes from lax procedures such as not ensuring regular backups and prompt updates of all your IT applications. A lack of awareness and training among staff and employees is another common weakness. Your protection is only as good as the training of your newest employee against security breaches.
- Ransomware comes in multiple forms. If you suffer a breach, it is important to know what type of attack has occurred and whether it is:
- Scareware. This is just a fake notice that is seeking a payment when there is no real threat. Yet, it must be evaluated before it can be ignored.
- Lock-Screen Viruses. One step up from mere scareware, these viruses will lock screens and make data inaccessible without changing the files themselves. This can be resolved with by knowledgeable IT resources.
- Encryption Ransomware. The most damaging of the attacks, this software involves changing file and folder extensions and encrypting the data. This form of attack can only be resolved with a decryption key.
- Even if an attack does not result in a payment, it can damage your company’s reputation and brand. Such attacks also interrupt operations and have costs that can continue for months or more.
- Prevention is the best response to the ransomware threat. At the same time, your company should have a comprehensive plan for recovering from a successful attack. This requires a full mapping of all data resources and business systems. Once in place, a disciplined and effective backup routine will increase the possibility of recovering from a successful attack.
First Things First
The team at 4it is part of a managed IT services organization built to put our customers first. Our daily mission is to track the latest developments in the ransomware war. We use this knowledge to ensure up-to-the-moment ransomware protection in South Florida.
Our clients rely on us to put their security first while we work with their IT resources. This allows your internal staff to meet their priority of efficiently fulfilling their task of supporting operational needs. Cybersecurity is far too important today to be a second priority or parttime concern. We fill this gap by constantly monitoring the latest protections against rapidly evolving ransomware threats.
We then automatically apply those updates and new defenses without delay. As part of our comprehensive approach to this threat we also ensure our clients are implementing and following the best practices for providing backups and data recovery plans.
Ransomware is now a part of the risks faced by every South Florida business. It is not going away. The only proper approach is to proactively prevent a successful ransomware attack and prepare for recovery in the event your company is hacked.
The team at 4it is here to help provide those defenses and that plan for response and recovery.
With over 30 years of experience as an IT professional, I lead our technical engineering and administrative staff in the delivery of our complete suite of IT services, which includes our award-winning Help Desk, Network Operations Center (NOC), and On-Site Field Service team. As the senior technology expert, I also provide oversight and technical support for our Palmetto Bay Village Center co-location and hosting facility.