Ransomware in 2020.
Here at DTS InfoTech, the reason we’re writing about Ransomware in 2020, is because this threat has reached the crisis stage. Plus, it’s under-reported.
Ransomware is a global crisis and a dreary subject.
According to Christopher Krebs, director of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), it’s not exaggerating to say we are in the midst of a national/global crisis with Ransomware. CISA is responsible for protecting the Nation’s critical infrastructure from physical and cyber threats.
Ransomware is not going away. This scourge is growing.
In this post, we’ll provide an all-encompassing rundown of Ransomware, including an explanation of why Ransomware is an important topic for everyone on the planet, with emphasis on how to protect yourself and your business if you’re new to Ransomware.
Additionally, DTS has a separate section on our website dedicated to Ransomware. We have fourteen blog posts and counting. You should check it out for more information.
Our posts date back to January of 2014, but much has changed, so we’re updating our information to reflect this change.
From the beginning. What is Ransomware?
• Ransomware is defined as a term for the many variations of malware that infect computer systems, typically by social engineering schemes.
• Malicious software that locks your files and demands payment to access them.
• A cryptovirology attack encrypts critical files and systems and renders them inaccessible to the owner.
• Ransomware sometimes marks the files for permanent deletion or publication on the internet. The perpetrators then demand a payment (usually in semi-anonymous cryptocurrency like Bitcoin) for the private key required to decrypt and access the files.
• Infamous ransomware examples include CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, Locky, Cerber, KeyRanger, SamSam, TeslaCrypt, TorrentLocker, and Reveton.
The question is, who will protect you and your business against Ransomware?
Of course, you already know the answer. You’re responsible, and you accept that, but what if:
You’re not tech-savvy? Believe it or not, most folks are not truly tech-savvy.
Your business doesn’t have the in-house resources? Most small businesses lack resources.
You don’t have the time? Most business owners/managers don’t have the time either.
So, in this post, even if you’re not tech-savvy, and you don’t have the resources, we’ll show you how you can still be successful in protecting your business because you must protect your business.
Plus, if you’re not familiar with this topic, and your lack of preparedness shows it, you’ll have a simple step-by-step plan to get prepared! We have a plan guaranteed to protect you.
Are you not concerned about Ransomware?
On the other hand, if you think you know all about Ransomware, don’t turn your back on it, assuming you’re okay. If you turn your back, you’re probably not okay, and you’re inviting trouble by ignoring this ever-present growing threat.
The plan. Ransomware protection layer-by-layer.
We’ve found the best approach to defeating the Ransomware threat is by using a simple four-layered approach. By four-layers, we mean employing:
3. Employee education
4. Technology expertise
When you combine all of these - every one of them - you can be confident your business will survive a Ransomware attack. However, if you don’t employ a layered approach, you probably will not survive the attack.
In other words, after a successful attack on your business, you’ll have to pay a ransom to gain access back to your company data. Statistics prove that most small businesses go out of business after a successful Ransomware attack.
Let’s chat about each of the layers beginning with hardware.
DTS InfoTech has partnered with and uses the leading global provider of IT solutions from award-winning datto to protect our own IT infrastructure.
If you’re a pet lover, you understand the term we use to say, “We eat the pet food we recommend.”
Datto provides an all-in-one business continuity and disaster recovery solution. It prevents data loss and minimizes downtime for DTS InfoTech and the customers we serve. We protect physical, virtual, and cloud infrastructures running on Windows, Mac, or Linux.
As a business owner or manager, you can rest assured knowing you have proven total data protection that includes verified backups, restore options for any scenario (including a Ransomware attack), and instant virtualization.
But hardware alone is not enough to protect your business.
In addition to the software that controls the datto hardware, we also use Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software, which is the most powerful cloud-based RMM solution available in the world.
DTS InfoTech securely and intuitively manages IT infrastructures with powerful RMM tools to monitor your network, patch management, and remote control of your systems. And our services include a top-tier managed anti-malware product to protect your user stations and servers.
But software alone is not enough to protect your business.
Employees are the number one asset of any company. Without employees, a company is not much of a, well, company. But employees make mistakes. We all do.
The very-old saying, “to err is human,” by English writer Alexander Pope (1688–1744), is time tested, valid, and still true today. And a recent twenty-first-century article about employees, according to CNBC, restates this axiom of errors and humans by stating, “The biggest cybersecurity risk to US businesses is employee negligence, study says.”
The CNBC article casts employees in a negative light and only tells half of the story.
What is the real reason for employee negligence?
We believe the real reason is that employees are not trained in cybersecurity.
As a general statement, employers do not set their employees up for success. Why? Because employers are not training them in cybersecurity. And if they are receiving training, it is only on an annual basis.
Annual training is not nearly enough.
Employees can be trained in cybersecurity by employing simulated phishing attacks and security awareness training campaigns to educate employees, making them the best defense against cybercrime.
Imagine that. You are setting your employees up for success and turning them into part of your first line of defense!
But employee education alone is not enough to protect your business.
Technology expertise. Some businesses even employ tech-savvy employees.
We are fortunate to work with tech-savvy employees. We appreciate them because they help us to do our job in servicing their computer network and technology issues. We consider these tech-savvy people to be our allies in maintaining business-class networks, so their network is always working.
But these tech-savvy employees, to a person, do not want to be the in-house tech, PLUS do the job they were hired to do, which did not include taking care of the company technology.
In private, they complain to us about it. We understand!
Staying current on ‘all thing’s technology’ is not an 8 to 5 job. Not even close.
For employees who do ‘some tech work’ in the companies they work for, they’ll be the first to tell you, “I don’t know if what I’m doing is adequate. I don’t get paid to search the internet to stay current on all the latest hardware and software threats.”
These tech-savvy employees have enough knowledge to know how sophisticated and complex technology has become. And they don’t appreciate being asked to do two jobs at once.
Yet we see employers trying to save money by having “the person who knows Excel the best” be their in-house IT Person.
These types of employers are setting the employee and the company up for failure. Tech-savvy employees are not to blame and are not at fault; their employers are.
But tech-savvy in-house employees alone are not enough to protect your business.
Okay! We’ve made the point that these layers in and of themselves are not enough to protect your business.
But by using them altogether, under the management of a professional IT Services company, it will protect your business.
Professional IT Services companies make their living as trusted advisors. IT Services means they will provide everything you need in technology from design, planning, implementation, monthly maintenance, employee training, trusted advice, and future planning. They charge a competitive and reasonable price for their service, and they guarantee their work.
So you’re not tech-savvy, and you don’t have the time or the resources.
You’re still responsible for protecting your company. You know that. But remember what we said about these statements above:
You’re not tech-savvy. Believe it or not, most folks are not truly tech-savvy.
Your business doesn’t have the in-house resources. Most small businesses lack resources.
You don’t have the time. Most business owners/managers don’t have the time either.
As an owner/manager, you’ve faced this type of problem in other areas of your business. So, get some help!
You’ll need some professional help, and as mentioned, we have two companies for you to consider.
DTS InfoTech, an IT Support company. And datto, a data backup and restoration provider.
For small businesses that don’t have their computer techs on staff, DTS InfoTech becomes your IT Department.
As such, DTS InfoTech is responsible for all of your technology. Even for the products you use that DTS does not sell or service, like printers as an example.
We’re also introducing datto, a data backup, and restoration company.
In the field of data backup and restoration, we have partnered with datto. We believe datto is the best company in this field hands down, and their awards support that. Using their solutions and our support, you don’t have to worry about Ransomware.
We say this after many years of experience using the services of other companies. There are no other companies for you to partner with for data backup and restoration. DTS InfoTech and datto are that good.
But you’re thinking, “Professional expertise is expensive.” Not really!
There is so much that could be said here that it’s hard to know where to begin.
The following points are going to sound like an infomercial for DTS InfoTech, but I will tell you to educate yourself about this first, and then we can chat about whether this is a sales spiel (it’s not) or just good and actionable information – offered for free as a public service - you should be aware of (which it is).
All that said, DTS InfoTech is located in the Portland, Oregon Metropolitan area.
• There are several professional IT Services company in our area.
• The chance of you doing business with our company is probably very small.
• DTS is known for its integrity and honesty.
We’re publicly sharing this information. We’re not selling you, our visitor, anything. We’re not sales-people. We’re IT, people.
Our advice comes from our experience of servicing thousands of customers since 2001.
So, here are the facts as we know them to be.
The vast majority of small businesses do not have tech-savvy in-house employees to manage a modern computer network effectively, safely protecting you against Ransomware.
For all of the services listed above (except data backup), network design, planning, hardware and software recommendations, implementation, monthly network maintenance, data restoration, employee cybersecurity training, future planning, and consistent, trusted advice, you will pay less than minimum wage for one employee per month. It’s true. Based on value, IT Services are not expensive. The value you receive is unmatched.
Question for you, Mr. or Ms. Business Person.
How many employees are you currently paying less than minimum wage for the professional levels of the service we’re describing? I’m going to say zero.
You know as well as anyone, employees who provide the level of professional support like an IT Services company cost you a LOT more than minimum wage. We both know that. Click here for an article on the cost of IT Support for business.
Ransomware, cyber theft, criminal activity is probably here to stay.
If you are not using some form of the layered approach, combined with technology expertise, to protecting your business, you’re vulnerable.
If your business is vulnerable, it’s pretty simple to change it!
DTS InfoTech Can Help.
We’re are IT Service professionals protecting companies from Ransomware attacks.
As we’ve already mentioned, the vast majority of small businesses do not have the expertise, technical resources, or time to understand all Ransomware issues. If this describes you, we can help.
If you would like more information, please give us a call, we’re always happy to chat, and the call is FREE! Calls are always free.
Dedicated to your success,
Business Development Manager
dts|infotech . . . secure computer networks that work