Last year before the holidays, an Arkansas-based telemarketing firm was hit by ransomware. Their employees at the time didn’t even know they were hit by it, however they felt the repercussions of the attack. More than 300 employees were sent back to their homes and told that it would be best to try looking for another job as a worst-case scenario if they are unable to recover their data.
The attack that happened on October 2019, forced the CEO of the company to send a letter informing their employees of the situation.
“Unfortunately, approximately two months ago our Heritage servers were attacked by malicious software that basically ‘held us hostage for ransom’ and we were forced to pay the crooks to get the ‘key’ just to get our systems back up and running,” wrote Sandra Franecke, the company’s CEO, in the letter sent to employees.
With the initial recovery plan failing, it was estimated to only take 1 week, management decided to suspend operations while the process is ongoing. However, many of the 300 employees are doubtful that the company will be able to survive this situation.
This situation is not as uncommon as you would think it is. In the last few years, many other companies have decided that a ransomware attack was too costly for them to recover and ended up shutting operations down. One example would be a Medical practice in Michigan opting to end their operations 1 year earlier than planned rather then deal with the fallout of a ransomware infection.
Situations like this could have been avoided given that they were able to:
Have proper security measures implemented to detect and isolate suspicious files
Had their data recovery plan regularly tested or had on implemented in the first place.
If you would like to learn how we at CT Link Systems, Inc. can help you company better secure your IT environment or even ensure that you have a good BCDR plan in place, Contact us at 8935 9515 and we would be happy to help you!
Ransomware is becoming more prevalent now as more companies are starting to have their networks infected with these disruptive malware. With this in mind, Cisco has been improving their security portfolio to keep your IT infrastructure same from these malicious malware attacks. Learn more about it from our Cisco experts on July 17, 2018 at Discovery Primea at our Ransomware Lunch & Learn event! Get a chance to win aSmart TV and other goodies as well as you learn more about how you can stay safe from ransomware attacks. To learn more about the event or how to register for it, please contact us at 893-9515!
Business IT environments are now at bigger risks as more and more malware, such as Ransomware, are becoming more sophisticated. The results of malware gaining access to your IT environment could lead to as much as disruption of your business operations – mainly your service, productivity, and more importantly – your reputation. Cyber criminals do this through business process compromise (BPC), halting your access to business critical applications and data which can last for days if not months..
Contrary to common belief that cyber threats are an endpoint issue, ransomware and other advanced attacks are also focused on your servers. Servers are high value easy targets for cybercriminals due to the combination of readily available infrastructure via the public cloud and the increased speed of application delivery to create competitive advantage. Server and endpoint security hugely differ in the sense that the applications and operating systems that run enterprise workloads in the data center, in the cloud and even in containers can be extremely dynamic.
Fundamentals DO matter – Patching
As servers are the driving force that pushes any business forward, tasked with housing your most valuable data, it is only natural that cybercriminals would start targeting it – whether it’s on premise or in the cloud. Cybercriminals will take advantage of vulnerabilities found on your servers. A good example of this is the recent WannaCry Ransomware attack a few weeks ago which leveraged on a Microsoft Windows SMB vulnerability to inject itself onto servers and endpoints. OS Patching is the best solution to these as to prevent the attack from executing. However, there are many reasons why servers are left unpatched one of which is server downtime. It is estimated that enterprise firms take an average of 250 days for their IT (205 days for retail businesses) to fix the software flaws in their enterprise applications.
Hybrid Cloud infrastructures are complex, and these complexities can have gaps which can be exploited. So what can be done to prevent situations such as compromised endpoints accessing a vulnerable file server? Here is where advanced server security solutions such as Trend Micro Deep Security comes in. Designed to protect workloads across physical, virtual, cloud and container environments with host-based security to shield servers from a wide range of threats. With its range of cross generational security techniques, it will be able to enable you to easily:
Stop network attacks and shield vulnerable applications & servers, leveraging Intrusion Prevention (IDS/IPS) and firewall techniques;
Lock down systems and detect suspicious activity on servers, using techniques like application control and integrity monitoring that have been optimized for the hybrid cloud; and
Prevent malware and targeted attacks from successfully infiltrating your servers, leveraging proven anti-malware and advance techniques like behavioral analysis & sandboxing
Learn more about Trend Micro Products from our product page here!
You may have heard over the weekend of the recent attacks of ransomware called WannaCry, which has targeted almost 200,000 computers across 150 countries. While a killswitch has been found to help lessen the spread of WannaCry, many still believe that a new strain of WannaCry will soon come out which will bypass this quick fix.
Microsoft has released its statement on this issue while also providing its customers the solution to prevent the malicious software from affecting you, installing the security update MS17-010 and more recently they released security patches for older operating systems such as XP which can be found on this link. However, for those of our current Trend Micro users who cannot update their patches as soon as possible we have work arounds in which you can do in the meantime. Below are the products of Trend Micro that can be used to prevent the attacks (please make sure to follow the correct patch or pattern for the product):
For our clients who are not using Trend Micro, we strongly urge you to patch your Windows with MS17-010 (for versions such as XP please refer to this link). For any questions or inquiries you have with regards to ransomware or how you can protect you system, please contact us at 893 9515 and we will be happy to help!
Studies show that 70% of corporate data resides on the PCs or laptops of end-users and most of these files are unstructured data in the form of Excel spreadsheets or Word documents. Furthermore, studies also show that in most businesses, employees are casually told to make a backup of their own files. Management cannot even be sure if the backups are up-to-date or done at all. The primary reason for such case is usually the lack of a centralized storage, which is expensive to set up, to store the data backups.
This leniency in doing data backup has become more and more risky these days with increasing threats from malwares like Ransomware.
What is Ransomware?
In a nutshell, Ransomware is a new type of malware that “kidnaps” files and prevents users from accessing the files until “ransom” is given.
Most users think that it’s just malware, and that their anti-virus software will be able to catch it. However, not all anti-virus software are effective against ransomware. The real best defense against Ransomware today is, simply and ironically, for one to be always ensured with a data backup that can be successfully restored when needed.
A good backup strategy in protecting against Ransomware is cloud-based data backup.
Cloud-based backup provides plenty of storage at a low cost.
Cloud-based backup allows customers to pay only for the actual backup storage being used instead of buying a lot of storage in advance.
Cloud-based backup works even if laptop users are outside the corporate network.
Cloud-based backup gives an added level of protection against Ransomware since affected files usually take days or even weeks before getting into the cloud.
Be enabled. Deploy and secure endpoint data protection strategy at your own pace.
We offer simple and reliable cloud-integrated backup as a service, reliably powered by Microsoft Azure.