Remember Ransomware?

Data security dangers still very much present

Ransomware – or software employed by hackers to lock you out of your systems until you pay up – made a major showing in 2016. A little thing called the U.S. Presidential election seemed to distract the media and we didn’t hear much about ransomware for a while, but that doesn’t mean hackers haven’t been keeping busy! Just in case you didn’t finish (let’s be real, did you even start?) securing your organization against a ransomware attack, here’s a little refresher on why it’s so important from DataBreachToday.com:

A suburban Dallas police department saw eight years’ worth of digital evidence, including material for at least one active criminal case, frozen after a ransomware attack, another example of the continuing havoc caused by file-encrypting malware.

The police department in Cockrell Hill, which is about eight miles from downtown Dallas, didn’t pay the $4,000 ransom, which was requested in the virtual currency bitcoin. Although the department says the majority of material was backed up on CDs or DVDs, access to some videos and photographs was lost.

Can you imagine the kind of trouble this is going to cause for the police department and anyone involved with those cases? Now think about what might happen with your organization if piles of essential files suddenly went *poof*…

It doesn’t take a crisis management expert to see that ransomware can happen to anyone. Educate your staff on avoidance, put business continuity practices like off-site and/or Cloud backups into place, and plan for what you’ll say if it’s you facing a ransom next.

Erik Bernstein
bernsteincrisismanagement.com

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