Ransomware Business is Booming!

Cybercrime got it’s moonshot with Cryptolocker, and now everyone is trying to get in on the action. Hidden in the dark web are servers that will launch a ransomware campaign for you if the price is right. Just provide them with your list (or you can buy one from any illegitimate hack site along with the stolen passwords) and they will do the rest. From generating emails to handling the payment, it’s all been taken care of for you. Just sit back and let the Bitcoin roll in. Want to be more “hands on” and collect even more of that internet loot? Buy a script kiddie kit for a few thousand dollars and set up a web server in another country to collect the bounty and you are ready to target anyone you wish to have a bad day.  It’s little wonder that Cryptolocker and it variants (FireEye now reports that 92% of all phishing email are loaded with Ransomware) are taking the internet by storm. If you think this is someone else’s problem you would be wrong, it’s waiting for you in your inbox disguised as the receipt from Amazon or the shipping confirmation you’ve been waiting for.

The threat from ransomware is growing and it will not be stopped. If you have been resisting backing up your computers or servers, you are destined to pay these thieves what they ask for.  Hospitals, Universities, Enterprise size businesses, and one man shops have all been made to pay up. You are not too small to stay hidden or too big to have a vulnerability that will be exposed.  When one of your employees opens that email, the only thing that will keep you in business is your backup system.

If you have been keeping your backups on an external hard drive that you swap once a week (most of the time) and never look at it, you don’t have an effective backup system. You have a hope-based disaster recovery plan, which is not much of a plan at all. Of course having all of your company data on a drive you keep in your car is a bad idea as well, just ask the NFL Raven’s team doctor who had his laptop stolen from his car with over 10,000 player’s medical records on it. It’s past time to re-evaluate how we backup our data and what we expect from our backups.

Modern backup systems have a number of features that ensure integrity of the data as well as the ability to rapidly restore functionality to limit downtime. New backup systems can “spin up” a virtual copy of the workstation or server in the case of a massive system failure and allow work to proceed while recovery efforts are in progress. Automated, verified and quick recovery is the holy trinity of backup solutions and products like our Backup Disaster Recovery (BDR) units can do all three. These solutions can be purchased with or without off-site cloud retention. If you are interested in a BDR solution that is sized perfectly for your needs and growth, call us to schedule a Systems Engineer to help select the right system for you.

Lane_prof_91A0963-2-2 Lane Monk, Systems Engineer