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
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.