Smart services and smart technologies – Part Two

A series designed to address state-of-the-art services and technologies that can be used by business to Eliminate Inefficiency

Ransomware is malicious software that infects computers and displays messages demanding a ransom be paid before the system will function again. It is a form of malware used in criminal moneymaking schemes. A ransom is often triggered by a link installed in an email message, instant message or website. Ransomware damages costs are expected to reach US$20 billion in 2021. 

While paying a ransom in response to a cybersecurity breach is now illegal in Australia, the costs associated with ransomware reach well beyond such payments to include the costs associated with: 

  • temporary or permanent loss of sensitive or proprietary information, 
  • disruption to regular operations, 
  • financial losses incurred to restore systems and files, and
  • potential harm to an organisation’s reputation. 

About the last point, I cite again (as in my previous post), research by Arcserve published in late 2020 found that 59% of buyers are likely to avoid suppliers that they believe have suffered a cyber-attack. Unfortunately, Australian businesses are more susceptible to ransomware attacks than businesses in many other countries. Security Brief reports – ‘Over two-thirds (67%) of Australian organisations have suffered a ransomware attack in the last 12 months — 10% above the global average of 57%’. Crowstrike, which also found that of the businesses that fell victim to a ransomware attack, suggests that 33% paid the ransom, costing an average of AU$1.25 million for each breach. This percentage is higher than any other country in the Asia Pacific region and more than the global average (27%).  

As such, the chances of your business being hit by ransomware in 2021 is very high indeed. Further to this, the chances of that attack costing you a significant amount of money are also very high. 

So, what can you do to protect your business from a ransomware attack? 

It is first important to understand where ransomware attacks come from. Most ransomware attacks involve silent infections delivered through exploit kits, malicious email attachments, and malicious email links. This is especially concerning given how many emails each staff member receives every day. It is even more concerning when 95% of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error, including staff opening emails or links they should not open. 

  • The strategies for limiting the risk of ransomware include the following: 
  • Educate all staff to NEVER EVER open unverified emails. 
  • Educate all staff to NEVER EVER open untrusted attachments. 
  • Educate all staff to NEVER EVER visit websites they cannot trust. 
  • Educate staff to NEVER EVER give out personal information, including passwords. 
  • Educate all staff to NEVER EVER use unfamiliar USBs. 
  • ALWAYS use a mail server that scans and filters all content. 
  • Ensure that ALL software and operating systems are up to date. 
  • ALWAYS use a VPN when using public Wi-Fi.  
  • ALWAYS maintain up to date security software. 
  • ALWAYS back up your data and ensure an efficient pathway to recovery. 

Also, consider the application of the HPE SimpliVity Hyperconverged solution. SimpliVity consolidates all the elements you need to run and manage a virtual environment – providing a virtual environment for 2 to 2000 machines. Among a range of benefits, SimpliVity enables data to be reliably backed up and rapidly recovered. It is a simple, powerful, and highly efficient security tool. 

A client recently engaged Wolfe System to recover data stored traditionally for a business that had suffered a cyberattack. The recovery process took nearly five days to complete. Had the business being using SimpliVity, it would have taken less than an hour. In short, using SimpliVity would have saved this business at least four days of productivity. So, my advice is: 

  • To protect against the costs associated with a Cyberattack – Use SimpliVity. 

Wolfe Systems is a trusted HPE partner and are the only approved SimpliVity implementation specialist in WA. If you want to know more about SimpliVity, please give me a call or email me.

Ben Latter
0488 445 044
[email protected]