Though it’s always exciting and fulfilling to get a phone call from a prospective client, the shaky voice on the other end of the line gave me pause.
I listened and took notes as the managing partner of a small law firm explained to me that all the files on their server had suddenly changed and were no longer accessible. The business was dead in the water.
I immediately suspected that their server was hit with some kind of Ransomware virus. Further questioning, unfortunately, confirmed the suspicion. I asked about their backup strategy and the answer I got was typical: Not much, and not enough to protect against this onslaught.
Ransomware viruses are one of the biggest threats to businesses. Cyber criminals will relentlessly try to hack into a weak or otherwise insecure network in order to drop their payload. The virus executes and encrypts all files with military-grade encryption that cannot be decrypted without the key that the criminals have.
Typically, the criminals will have the encrypted files launch a website with instructions as to how to send a ransom using untraceable Bitcoin as currency. The criminals promise to send the decryption key once the ransom is paid, but the criminals rarely keep their promise. We believe that businesses should never pay the ransom. Rather, it is more important to be proactive and invest in up-to-date systems and a quality, automated off-site backup strategy with alerting capabilities.
This project moved to the top of our list. An onsite visit confirmed my fears: All files on the server were completely encrypted by the virus, and the backup strategy was also encrypted and useless. They had lost everything.
After consultation and a weighing of options, the decision was made to invest in an up-to-date server operating system, a business-grade firewall and a comprehensive backup strategy that is impervious to infection by a Ransomware virus. His office was relatively new and, due to financial constraints, the decision was made to manually rebuild all the client files from hard copies with the help of a temp.
The result? Implementing our proven strategies resulted in restoring full operability with as little downtime as possible, and with protection from future attacks.
To find out whether your business is vulnerable, call Lochworks today at (818) 224-5210.