The Dangers of Ransomware (And the Potential Ramifications for Your Business)

Blog - ARC Managed Services

Detect, remove, and prevent ransomware attacks with the help of trained IT professionals

For many business owners, the term “ransomware” isn’t a familiar one. But when you mention computer viruses, the connection is often made, and the associated consequences are understood.  As more and more IT systems become increasingly integrated into business operations, the potential threats and downfalls of these systems become of greater concern.

At ARC Business Solutions, we know that many entrepreneurs do not have the time, interest, or know-how to combat ransomware attacks or other malicious software issues. That’s why we offer managed services for our valued clients, monitoring their IT infrastructure and keeping their data secure.  But even if an entrepreneur has solicited the help of a professional and knowledgeable IT company, there are some basic methods of protecting against ransomware that they (and every business owner) should know.

In this blog post, we’ll be covering some of the most common missteps that make companies susceptible to malicious software, and sharing our recommended strategies to stop ransomware from jeopardizing your business.  Let’s get started!


What is Ransomware And What Does It Do?


Ransomware is a type of malicious software that does exactly what it sounds like: uses encryption to hold your data for ransom. Essentially, the software will prevent you from being able to access your much-needed data, extorting you for money with the promise of restoring your access if you pay up.  Typically, the creators of this kind of malicious software disguise their malware, making ransomware appear as a program, app, or media file that you want to install on your computer.  Unfortunately, once you have clicked the “install”, “save”, or “download” button, you are immediately at risk, and the ransomware will begin to infect your device.


What Are The Ricks Associated With A Ransomeware Attack? 


There are several ways that ransomware can negatively impact your business. Some of the most common disturbances include:

1. Infiltration Of Databases, Back-Ups, And Drives

One of the most worrisome impacts of a ransomware attack is the fact that they are developed to be highly sophisticated, and they can access just about anything that is connected to your computer or electronic device.  From cloud-based storage systems like Dropbox, to hard drives and removable storage systems like USB drives – if access is available via your computer, the malware can worm its way in and compromise any files that are saved via that particular system. This means that files can be corrupted, altered, or deleted, leaving your business scrambling to restore your documents and other important files, while simultaneously trying to prevent the malicious software from spreading further.


2. Loss of Access To Computer Systems

This is an especially concerning problem. Many business owners aren’t aware that a specific form of malicious software, referred to as locker ransomware, can actually shut down your entire computer operating system, preventing you from logging in at all.  Since it is absolutely not beneficial for any business owner to be completely barred from their computer, this particular consequence drives home the importance of ransomware protection unlike any other.


3. Financial Loss To Repair Compromised Systems

When a company’s IT systems have been infected with malware, it’s almost always guaranteed to cost them money.  In fact, in 2017, the average cost of a data breach in North America was $1.3 million for enterprises and $117,000 for small and medium-sized businesses.  That’s easily enough money to cause major interruptions in a business, and potentially derail the future success of a company.

These costs come from a range of services that must be completed to rectify the damages of an attack, including:

  • Replacing infected devices
  • Recovery of proprietary data (if possible)
  • Loss of production due to IT systems being down
  • Damage to brand and reputation
  • Potential loss of clients
  • Potential legal fines

And more.


What Should I Do to Protect My Business Against A Ransomware Attack?


Being proactive is the most advantageous thing you can do to stop ransomware from wreaking havoc on your company.  It’s crucial that you take the time to do a threat and risk assessment to identify weak points in your IT systems.   If you do not have the manpower internally to conduct these assessments, we encourage you to consider trusting our highly-trained IT professionals.

At ARC Business Solutions, we offer unmatched security services, meaning your systems will be backed up regularly, monitored for potential threats, consistently upgraded to ensure maximum protection, and thoroughly inspected to ensure all components are set up securely.  If protecting against ransomware is a priority for you, and you’re looking for a hands-off experience with trained experts you can trust, our managed services division is an ideal option for keeping your IT systems safe.

Lastly, if you suspect a computer or device within your company has been compromised, isolate that device as quickly as possible. Completely disconnect it from other devices, go offline, and document the ransom note by taking a photo of it with your smartphone, or simply jot down any details you can remember.  From there, it is recommended that you contact an IT company or experienced IT professional so you can identify exactly what type of ransomware you have been infected with, and determine the best course of action for combating it. 


How Professional IT Services Help Businesses Remain Competitive in Today’s Market

Blog - ARC Managed Services

Discover the benefits of trusting your IT systems to industry experts

More than ever before, companies are conducting business via the internet. In fact, in the United States and Canada there are approximately 1.3 million e-commerce businesses, with more being established every year.  And even companies that do not operate primarily via the internet rely on technology in some form or fashion to complete daily tasks, store information, and communicate with their clientele.  Thus, the dependability of IT systems is crucial.  

Unfortunately, however, many business owners do not have the time or the know-how that is required to properly protect their IT systems and the data they contain.  To elaborate further, a study by Hiscox found that seven out of 10 businesses aren’t prepared to handle cyber attacks.  Additionally, 93 percent of companies feel that a connected digital infrastructure is important in serving customer needs yet 55 per cent believe their existing IT infrastructure limits their ability to do so.  These statistics show that while businesses are aware of how important it is to maintain efficient and secure computer systems, the reality is that many businesses are falling short.

So, what is the solution?

One of the most compelling fixes is to hire a managed services provider to proactively monitor your systems and address issues as they arise.  By trusting the maintenance and strategic planning of your computer systems to industry experts, you can ensure your business remains ahead of the curve, while freeing up your time to focus on your company’s overall mission and vision.


How Managed Services Can Help You Gain A Competitive Advantage In The Marketplace:


1. Controlled Spending

One of the benefits of managed services is that your company receives the tailored, individualized solutions it needs, ensuring that you only pay for what you require.   This gives you a competitive advantage, since other companies are likely troubleshooting their own IT issues in-house, and spending more time doing so.

With IT managed services, however, your company pays a convenient flat fee per month, and you (as well as your employees) benefit from no longer having the responsibility on your plate.  With the time and money you save, you can invest in other areas of your business that will lead to greater success.


2. Fewer Setbacks

There is nothing more costly than an IT breach.  In fact, according to the 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study by Ponemon, the average cost for each lost or stolen record containing sensitive and confidential information is $148.00.  Yes, that’s per stolen record.  Additionally, it takes an average of 23 days to resolve a ransomware attack, and an average of 50 days to resolve a malicious insider attack.

Can your business afford to be hindered for that long? Most can’t.

Thankfully, with the help of the IT leaders at your chosen managed services company, you can prevent these costly misfortunes.  Remember, managed services providers have much more comprehensive network infrastructures than most businesses do. They also have the software and knowledge required to conduct regular audits and testing. Plus, they have the ability to monitor your systems 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.   This means that no matter how severe an issue is, your systems are being protected by industry-leading professionals and the most advanced security solutions, at all times.

In a nutshell? While your competitors are dealing with phishing attacks and malware, you’ll be busy doing what you do best: running your business.


3. Seamless Scalability

One of the greatest challenges companies face when it comes to their IT systems is scalability. After all, as your company grows, so too should it’s IT infrastructure.  Thankfully, the benefits of managed services address a lot of the scalability concerns that business owners have.  This is because when you hire a managed services provider, you no longer have to worry about hiring in-house IT professionals or expanding your resources in a hurry. Instead, you simply leave it up to the pros! 

Your IT managed services experts will be able to enhance your systems as needed, identify any areas of concern, and design scale directly into the solutions they provide to you.  What does this mean with regards to improving your competitive advantage? Well, when other companies are scrambling to expand their offerings and meet market demands, you’ll be prepared – increasing the likelihood that you will be top of the pack. After all, most clients need businesses that can fulfill their needs immediately, if not within a short period of time. 

It’s a classic case of the early bird gets the worm!