News Article - Cybercriminals Are Targeting Small Businesses That Don't Take Cybersecurity Seriously
Could your business recover from an abrupt loss of $256,000? Because that’s how much a single cybersecurity hack could cost a small business, according to a recent analysis in Tech Republic.
We’re barely halfway through 2017 and already this year has seen a huge spike in major cybersecurity attacks. Ransomware infections attacked the US pharmaceutical company Merck and the Danish shipping company Maersk. There have been viral, state-sponsored ransomware leaks of US spy agencies and a ransomware attack that crippled NHS hospitals and emergency rooms in the UK. Enigma Software, the makers of the SpyHunter anti-malware program, found there were more than 1.5 million infections detected in the first half of 2017, and the number could be even higher in the second half of the year.
Major hacks, ransomware and phishing are all on the rise. Yet many small business owners continue to mistakenly believe their company won’t be a target.
Read the full Entrepreneur news article here:
Time to get out your BitCoin wallet to pay up.
Not infected yet? What about that email attachment you are just about to open? Is it the one?
Ransomware is no joke. It has ruined businesses globally. Many have never gotten their files back, all have lost time and energy in the recovery process. Some have paid and been hit again.
All you need to do is read the news:
http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40261693 (BBC News June 13, 2017)
Scared yet? You should be.
I am not going to focus on protecting OS X from attack. With the types of threats changing and morphing on a daily if not hourly basis there is strong probability that the next tsunami of Cryptolocker or Wannacry type viruses will affect thousands of computers, both Windows and Apple alike.
Consider this; if your computer was to experience a hardware failure today, you could go out and purchase a new one at your local Apple retailer, restore your data from Time Machine or iCloud and be up and running again in an hour or two. But ransomware is much worse than a hardware failure. It encrypts your data including your backups. Assuming you are going to get hit by the next wave, what should you do to protect your livelihood, reputation, critical files and ultimately your business?
Protecting critical data today requires much more than a backup. You need to secure data and protect it from any current or future threat. Real data protection requires a solution that not only allows for a predictable time to get working again (recovery time objective - RTO) but also the ability to limit the amount of data and work lost (recovery point objective - RPO).
Imagine if you knew, beyond any doubt, that when hit with ransomware, you would lose no more than 5-15 minutes of work and that you could recover your data and operating system(s) in an hour or so. What is the value in having the peace of mind of knowing your business is completely protected be it a stand-alone Mac, a server or network of computers.
Every business owner should be able to calculate what a total business shut-down would cost on an hourly and daily basis. If you do hourly contract work, that’s easy. If you have a team relying on a server or share, that is a little more difficult but can be done. Make sure you add the cost of missed client deadlines, POS system failures or recreating lost work. With this number in hand, consider what value there would be in knowing exactly how long it would take to recover and how much data would be lost.
There is a cost to protecting your business and there is no way around it. You experience this every time you pay your business insurance. Many businesses never make an claim, yet pay every year. What is it worth to your business to limit the risk of data loss, something that we have identified as a very real and immediate possibility?
The best solution on the market today is the a Total Data Protection solution. This consists of an on-site appliance, connected securely to redundant Cloud storage that will back up one or more complete computers (OS, data, everything) as often as every 5 minutes. These backups are replicated off-site throughout the day to protect against local disasters (tornados anyone?). With this in place the RTO and RPO for your business are known and can be fire-drill tested at any time.
This industry leading solution has saved numerous businesses from disaster by allowing ransomware encrypted data and even entire computers to be restored to a point just before the attack or disaster occurred. Including on-appliance virtualization, rapid bare-metal OS restores, ransomware detection and many other data security features, these leading-edge appliances provide complete and total protection simply and effectively.
Regardless the size of your business, one Mac or a dozen you cannot afford to lose data or experience unpredictable down-time. Perhaps it is time to sign up for an insurance policy that you will actually use, possibly just to recover a deleted folder or file, or in the worst case to ensure that you will never need a BitCoin account down the road.
There is no need to be held hostage by ransomware or deal with loss from user error or disaster. The value in protecting your data and business from loss should be simple math. Lets talk.
If it seems like reports of ransomware attacks -- malicious software that holds data hostage unless a ransom is paid to the person or organization behind it -- are increasing, Malwarebytes agrees with you. The company released its Second Annual State of Ransomware Report recently. Among the findings is that 22 percent of small business that were hit with ransomware attacks were crippled to the point they had to cease operations immediately.
It's a somewhat staggering figure, but it makes sense once you think about it; large corporations often have the resources to work around (or, let's be real, pay off) these types of attacks. Small businesses, especially ones that rely on day-to-day operations to function, can't cope in the same way. "To make matters worse, most of them lack the confidence in their ability to stop an attack, despite significant investments in defensive technologies," said Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of Malwarebytes, in the press release. The survey also found that small business owners and operators are less likely to pay a ransomware demand.
Read the full Engadget news article here:
These businesses may be small, but they're a big draw for hackers.
Thanks to WannaCry, ransomware has taken the world by storm, without any discretion on whose computers it holds hostage. It'll lock down hospitals, mailrooms, banks, schools -- if it has a vulnerable computer with outdated software, it'll fall under a hacker's crosshairs.
It's that outdated software part that makes small businesses the most prevalent victims. Your local pizzeria or hair salon doesn't have its own IT department and probably isn't aware of the latest patches for Windows -- or even the latest version of Windows.
"If you're a one-man shop, it's often a nephew or a family member who does that," said Robert Gibbons, the chief technology officer at Datto, a cybersecurity company. "Small businesses suffer because they don't have the skill nor the infrastructure to manage this."
Read the full CNET news article here:
Healthcare ransomware is one of the biggest cybersecurity concerns in existence and it may have particularly serious implications for healthcare systems.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software code that is somehow installed on a computer or provided access to vulnerable system network where the data on the computer or in the network is either encrypted or locked by the ransomware so that it cannot be accessed by authorized users.
Effectively, a victim’s data is held hostage by the ransomware and cannot gain access to the locked or encrypted data until the victim pays a ransom. Ransoms are generally fairly low, which entices victims to simply pay the ransom to get access to their data again.
Read the full JDSupra news article here: