Today’s Test Will Cover: Secure IT and Ransomware

Aug 15, 2022

It’s back to school time! Are you and your team ready to hit the books about secure IT? Businesses across the country are facing ransomware threats, and you need to make sure you are prepared.

Ransomware continues to play a devastating role in disrupting businesses with silent and sudden attacks. 2021 has seen an unprecedented $70 million in a single attack and the threats will not stop – no business is too small. The more you understand about these cyberattacks and the role of a managed services provider, the better prepared you will be to protect your organization.

At Amnet, we are here as your IT partner, IT consultant, and your trusted advisor. We want you to understand how and why ransomware attacks happen and what you can do to protect your company – defense against this threat starts with you. 

Get ready to take notes; there will be a test at the end!

Your Secure IT Questions Answered

Why do I hear about ransomware attacks all of the time?

The publicity of ransomware has been because of the overwhelming success and simplicity of how it works. Businesses are almost always talked about publicly because of the sheer drop in their line of business due to the disruption in public-facing tools, services, and public services that both private, public, and government sector organizations offer. Some of the key features of ransomware that make it so viable are:

  1. We have seen a dramatic increase in the usage of cryptocurrency. This type of currency becomes hard to track, which makes it easier for criminals to commit their crimes.
  2. The rise in working from home. The business world transitioned to a work-from-home model for a huge portion of the workforce during the pandemic, and some of this is likely to remain. With employees working from home, many businesses found themselves more vulnerable. They did not have secure IT protections to guard their employee systems when employees were out of the office.
  3. Politics have also played a role. Many of the cyberattacks that have made headlines in recent years have likely originated in Eastern Europe. Greater tension between the United States and other countries has created an environment that fosters these attacks. 

How have these attacks impacted businesses in Colorado?

Colorado communities and businesses have not been exempt from this rash of attacks. One significant attack occurred against the small City of Lafayette. The community has just 30,000 residents but found their computer files breached, and the attack disrupted a large portion of city business for weeks.

Municipalities and schools across the state often do not have the network security resources needed to fend off these attacks. Furthermore, they do not have dedicated Colorado cybersecurity specialists working with them and the insight needed to set up a strong security posture on their own.

There is no honor amongst thieves, even our cultural arts at the Denver Art Museum and those that care for the sick and dying at local hospitals have been direct targets of ransomware. 

Why are these ransomware attacks so successful?

Ransomware attacks are successful because of their anonymity and simplicity. All it takes is one misclick on an email and the threat actors can get into business networks, and cause disruption, without anyone the wiser. Overnight, suddenly, the business is facing potentially millions in losses, lawsuits for identity theft, increase in their cyber insurance; not to mention their reputation. 

What types of businesses and organizations are the most likely to be targeted?

Many businesses might assume that because they are smaller organizations they do not have to worry too much about cyberattacks and investing in IT solutions; they do not seem large enough to warrant the effort and resources needed to launch such an attack. Unfortunately, that is inaccurate.

Criminals know that smaller businesses lack the secure IT protection to successfully repel them in many cases. Therefore, small organizations without robust security actually can be prime targets.

Other popular victims include:

  • Businesses that will likely need to pay the ransom quickly because they need access to their files and data immediately, such as medical facilities
  • Businesses that the public depends on, such as those that provide essential services. This would be the category Colonial Pipeline falls into 
  • Businesses that rely heavily on confidentiality, such as law offices, want to keep the breaches quiet and not draw attention to the victimization of their clients

What should I do if I am a victim of a ransomware attack?

Report the incident to a local managed IT service provider in Colorado (like Amnet) so that an incidence response plan can be executed.

Take Pre-emptive Action, Invest in Secure IT

Now is the time for your test. What are you going to do to protect your business from cyberattacks now that you know that criminals will not leave you alone just because you are smaller or do not have a nationally recognized name? If they think they can gain something from the attack, they will come.

Then, contact Amnet for a cyber and technology assessment service. As your IT consultant, we want to help you uncover your vulnerabilities and fix them for you. Do not let your business become the next local news story as you struggle to get back online after a devastating attack. Set yourself up for success and prevent or thwart attacks with cybersecurity protection designed for businesses just like yours.

Contact us now to schedule your free assessment and learn about our IT management.