When you hear the term ‘cryptolocker’, or ‘ransomware‘, you certainly don’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling. That’s because those things are BAD, and if you’ve never fallen victim to ransomware, consider yourself lucky! A ransom, by definition, works when someone takes ‘something’ that belongs to you, of great value, and demands payment in exchange, for the return of that ‘something.’ In the movies and crime dramas, that ‘something’ is generally irreplaceable, such as a loved one. In the world of business, that ‘something’ is your data. Cybercriminals know that your data is your lifeblood, so to speak, so they’ll go to great lengths to get their filthy hands on that information.
You remove virtually all power from cybercriminals when you no longer need the data they’ve taken from you. The only way to no longer have a need for the stolen data is to have an identical copy of that same data saved in a location that those slimy cybercriminals don’t have access to; your backups.
Backups are similar to an insurance policy – they’re something that you invest in and pay money for, all while hoping you never need to use them. But, if something happens and your data is compromised, you can rest easy and know that money you spent (possibly begrudgingly) was well a great investment. However, the flip side of that coin is having no ‘insurance policy’ in place when a ransomware attack happens. Then, not only are you out of the ransom that has to be paid to the slimy suckers (which, by the way has NO guarantee that your data will actually be returned), you are no longer able to access any of your data – which can be truly devastating to a business. Only 6% of businesses that suffer data loss survive longer than two years.
While it’s incredibly important to ensure your business is covered with as much security as possible (ideally layers of security), all of the security in the world can’t protect against an uneducated user haphazardly clicking on a malicious link and downloading ransomware. The most common way businesses fall victim to a ransomware infection is via a ‘phishing email’, which you’ve likely seen before. These cybercriminals are getting more and more sneaky in the ways they attempt to get your users’ attention – so it’s imperative your users are diligent in deleting and ignoring any email that looks suspicious.
We work with lots of clients in many different industries, and we’ve had plenty of those clients fall victim to cryptolocker and other forms of ransomware. The infections that happen to clients with rock-solid backups are no big deal – like, at all – we simply restore them to the last good backup (typically the previous day’s files) – and voila! Business is back to normal within a matter of hours, and we’re all giving the cybercriminals a ‘friendly’ farewell. However, that’s not always the case – and it’s always a hard, unfortunate conversation to have with a client that does not have good backups in place.
If your IT provider is making recommendations for a more robust backup solution, it because they have seen and understand the aftermath of data loss and want you to be better protected. The reason we make those recommendations is because we really believe you need it, and we want you to know we’re doing our part to protect your business and your network. One of the more unfortunate situations with a client falling victim to cryptolocker (which happened twice over the course of 2 months!), was that there were no good backups in place (either time), and the recommendations that had been made to improve the backup situation were never taken seriously, or were viewed as unnecessary. We understand that the right solution(s) are sometimes pricey, but it’s our job to let you, the client, know what technology is out there and why we believe it is the right solution for your business. We just want to help protect you and make sure you’ve got a great contingency plan!
The moral of the story is simple: good backups are the best insurance policy out there to ensure your data is safe from slimy, scummy, dirty, filthy cybercriminals! Don’t let them get the best of your business!
Have questions about a backup strategy? Contact us or leave a message in the comments below!