Odds are you will probably get hit by ransomware at some point this year. The exponential growth and sophistication of these attacks is staggering, so what can we do? You can ignore it. You can be fearful, or you can be proactive.
Ransomware is one of the most used ways to target small businesses. In fact, there are over 4,000 cases PER DAY. The other day, we got a call from an attorney who was targetted by an elaborate scam where the attackers gained access to her system. When she got suspicious and hung up, she called back the number and was “redirected” to what seemed as a legitimate company that charged her over $300 dollars to clean up what was done by the previous tech. The interesting thing is that the tech that did the damage was probably sitting next to the tech who played rescuer. Before she knew it, the attorney had volunteered banking information and allowed two unauthorized people access to her system. This happened because of the high level of sophistication and experience of the criminals. Their learning is exponential. Think about it, if over 4,000 people are calling into their fake call centers and they are keeping track of how people are reacting, then they can adjust their scam to make it more profitable and realistic.
We must remember that these crimes are always evolving. They target people and learn how the reactions are going to happen. They set up entire floors with call centers and high technology to play the part and get more cash our of the victims. According to FBI records, over 209 million dollars were paid in ransomware in the first quarter of 2016! The latest statistic shows that small businesses lost over $1 billion dollars in 2016!
The FBI put together a fantastic guide to help protect from ransomware. You can download this document and implement the changes recommended. However, we find that most people need guidance implementing these tools and can benefit from our expertise, so feel free to contact us at 512.336.2970, option 2 or fill out the contact us form on our website.
You can view the FBI document through this link: FBI Ransomware Guide
Awareness is the best protection, but putting some security tools in place is extremely helpful when the criminals get through.
It does not matter what kind of industry you are in. Everyone has valuable data and it needs to be protected. Whether it is a client record, credit card or patient information.
If you use any form of medical records and private information, it is a HIPAA requirement to have a yearly risk assessment. Please let us help you with that and find out how cost-effective it can be. Think about the potential risk of compromising your patient data and being fined because of negligence!
If you are a money/asset manager, then FINRA requires that you have a yearly assessment. We have worked with several firms in the Austin area and clients have been very surprised to find out the risks they are currently taking. Fortunately, it is not hard to implement protections.
You are the risk taker who gets to bring in resources to make life easier and protect your livelihood. The Critical Update is glad to come beside you and provide guidance and protection from ransomware and other threats to your business. Call us at 512.336.2970.
Luis Delgado is a father, husband, community resource, speaker, and entrepreneur who founded The Critical Update, inc (TCUINC) in 2003. TCUINC is a technology consulting firm that has evolved from basic computer support to affordable technology consulting, network management, outsourced IT and cybersecurity. Our clients come from every industry in Central Texas.
Luis is a certified HIPAA professional and is focused on helping business owners create more jobs for Texas families.