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While Covid-19 has been dominating the news, another form of virus has been growing in sophistication, and cost – ransomware.

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Propagated by sophisticated technology tools, a ransomware attack can shut down and render useless all the IT resources of any organization, regardless of size.

Several cities, hospitals, schools, and other high-profile entities have had their work interrupted and their cash flow severely impacted due to ransomware attacks.  Those organizations were targeted primarily because they were relatively unsophisticated in their security measures and were likely to pay quickly to restore their operations.

But, it’s not just large organizations that have to deal with ransomware. 

It has become more frequent that small organizations are being targeted for the same reasons – they don’t have great network security and they will give in and pay more quickly out of fear of being shut down for any period.

For instance, one strain of ransomware has been used to attack hundreds of dental offices while another hits small manufacturers.

Ransomware primarily enters through phishing – having an employee click on an innocuous-looking email link or download, which instantly links to a ransomware provider who will use that now-open pathway to download viruses and software to encrypt all files and lock down your system.

It happens almost instantly, and where it used to take weeks to totally take over a network, it now can happen in hours – depending on the size of the organization.  Minutes for a small business.

Once in control, hackers will demand payment – usually in an untraceable form such as bitcoin.  A local company in Mentor, Ohio recently got a crash course in cyber currencies when they decided to submit to ransomware demands.

Are You Protected? Click Here to get our free ransomware audit checklist

Ransomware attackers have found it to be a lucrative way to survive, and they are getting more ambitious with ever more sophisticated viruses as well as greater financial demands.

How The Ransomware Attack Has Made Itself More Dangerous

There is now a version of shame ransomware, where once an attack begins the attackers attempt to extract customer lists and sensitive data, threatening to expose those on public forums if their demands aren’t met.

That can certainly lead to loss of business as well as potential lawsuits.

There are a few strategies to deal with a ransomware attack, but as with most business issues prevention is vastly preferable to reacting. 

That is why we highly recommend that you conduct a ransomware audit to review your network and security protocols immediately.

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Regardless of how effective you believe your staff is in dealing with IT issues, professional firms like Focused Technologies have vast experience in dealing with prevention, and in recovery.  There isn’t much that any good Akron IT business hasn’t seen regarding ransomware threats.

Ransomware exists because it works.  Unfortunately, it is now the requirement of every business to understand and know how to deal with sophisticated technology security issues as a cost of doing business.

The only way to be prepared is to ensure that your operational procedures include ransomware prevention and management protocols. Start by clicking here to get our ransomware audit checklist.

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