TO PAY or NOT TO PAY: Ransomware Doesn’t Care How Small Your Business Is

You own a business. One day you try to open a file on your server (or cloud storage) and it says it’s encrypted.  You try to open another file; same thing!  You ask Suzie in the next office if she can open anything, and when she tries, she gets the same message.  Panic sets in!

Next thing, you hear is John cursing from his office.  You KNOW why!  Everyone is now in the hallway exchanging the same experience and talking about calling the IT guy.  Jen walks in from her coffee break and hears what is going on, and says, “Oh yeah, that happened on my laptop at home yesterday, so I brought it in today to see if I could work from the server.” (Everyone secretly wants to strangle Jen)

Your entire server is now encrypted and nobody can work!

Ransomware does not care what size your company is.  It targets EVERYONE!

The ransom is the same.  In fact, the hackers LOVE small business because it’s less likely they have good backups and protection.  Much more likely they will in fact pay for the decryption key.

Many companies who know about this will even take the risk of a $500 – $750 ransom rather than pay the average of $150+ a month in protection/cloud backup (not sync).  Do the math. It makes sense if you estimate getting one infection per year. Even thinking, “Hey we made out much better!”

But what else is lost?

  • How much does it cost to be down for 1, 2, 3 or more days?
  • What is the cost of an IT expert’s time to assess that you actually have real ransomware? Or even to navigate the bitcoin payment process?
  • What about poor Jen who has no idea what she has done wrong and people now think bad things about her?
  • WHAT IF: it’s not ransomware and paying no amount of money will get your data back?

Is that a risk you want to take? Do you feel a sense of immunity because your firm is “too small for the bad guys to target”? Think again. You are the target. But you can easily protect your data from getting kidnapped. Talk to your IT professional today and rest assured this is one challenge you won’t have to face in the future.

 

Bob Oster, CEO, nSpire Technologies, LLC

 

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