What is Ransomware:
Ransomware: Malicious malware that encrypts the server program and data files. It then displays a message on the screen demanding ransom to be paid in Bitcoin to an overseas account. Upon receipt of the ransom money, you receive an unlocking code to decrypt your files. You are warned that if nothing is done within 7 to 30 days, files will be lost forever.
Bitcoin: International Digital Currency, bypassing the traditional banking routs. 1 Bitcoin = approximately $580
$$$: How much will you be willing to pay to get your files back? What to do if you were attacked? How long can your enterprise survive without your business management software?
We were personally hit by the CryptoLocker Trojan two years ago, it is very difficult to recognize and our antivirus software did not pick it up, it came in the form of and email with an attachment. Once the email is opened the infection starts and all our Word, Excel, Pictures and accounting software were infected and ransom notes left in each of the program folders. This is offshore mafia as my IT consultant told me, the only solution we had was to wipe the computer clean and reinstall all the operating software and restore from backups. For the accounting software thankfully we have been using Divinsa Wholesale online backup for the last 10 years and were able to restore our accounting data, but it was really a pain.
Fend Off Ransomware:
1. Backup all program and data files daily, make sure that the backup disk is not connected to the computer with the files you are backing up. Online cloud backup or a separate backup drive that can be disconnected.
2. Have an alternate server on standby with previous night’s programs and data files loaded and ready to use.
3. Use the latest enterprise anti-virus / anti malware software, and make sure it is updated daily
4. Consider eliminating on-premise server and move your ERP/CRM and MS program and data files to the cloud.
5. If you get an email from an persons email do not open the file, best just to delete the original email
Thanks to Ben Hanan, Business Systems Analyst for his original writing of the article in a newsletter from August 23, 2016.