Can your business survive a ransomware attack?


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*Based on a true event


Is your company prepared for an unforeseen crypto-ransomware attack?

Not wanting to scare you but provide you with awareness.

We share the story of how Company A (based in New Zealand) was a victim of a cyber-attack and how this could have been prevented. 

How does a crypto-ransomware attack happen?

Hackers encrypt data with a password that is generated randomly and demand a ransom in exchange for the password to the data.

In the event of this, businesses have two options:

1. Pay the ransom

2. Recover their data from your back-up

Company A turned to the latter option - restoring their files from their back-up system which looked somewhat like the below structure:

The hard drives are typically rotated during the back-up process.

Company_A

Company A was not a Managed Think I.T. client and we were not managing their backup process at the time of the event. We helped set up the backup process for them as a project and handed the management of this system over to them.

Due to the COVID 19 lockdown, Company A were not in the office and had not rotated their backup hard-drives for the duration of a month. While this is not an ideal back-up process, this did save the majority of their company’s data. 

In this case, the hacker identified Company A’s server was being backed-up to one hard-drive, gained access to it, and encrypted that particular hard-drive. The silver lining of this ransomware attack is that Company A lost only one month’s worth of data versus the entire series of back-up hard drives. If the drives had been rotated as normal, they would have all been encrypted and the client would have had to pay the ransom that was demanded by the hackers.

Note to businesses:

Hackers don’t immediately take action once they have surpassed a company’s security systems. They will firstly monitor your computer behaviour for longer periods of time, understand how you communicate internally with each other, and then mobilising their hack using a staff member who has access to your security systems. This can include copying the company’s data in advance to hold it to ransom.

How we can protect your company’s data from being hacked in a similar situation?

Preventing the attack is always the best approach however every company needs to know they can rely on their backup when needed. When you sign up for our managed IT services, we would be able to offer you the following options to ensure your data always remains secure:

1. Back-up your existing physical hard drive system at an off-site location – Cloud Storage

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2. Replace physical hard-drive system with Think Assured Site Agent (TASA) which accesses your data and shifts it to a secure off-site location. The TASA ensures your data remains undetectable to any potential threats.

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Since COVID-19, there has been a spike in the number of cyber-attacks within companies globally.

According to The New York Times reports, organisations experienced a 41% increase in ransomware attacks during the pandemic period, compared to the previous year.

How did they get hacked?

Hackers take advantage of vulnerable situations, where methods of using coronavirus fear to lure visitors to click on malicious links and enter sensitive data, so hackers can penetrate systems.

Breached systems result in compromised data and extensive monetary and productivity loss for companies. This puts your business at great risk. Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your systems and company information.

The costs are higher when the breach has occurred versus putting preventative measures in place early. 

Is this something you would like to learn more about or have questions on?

Contact Think I.T. to find out how we can ensure your company is protected from any ransomware attack, so you are always ahead of the hacker’s game.


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Norman Johnston
"The most powerful motivating factor for employees is seeing tangible progress whilst performing meaningful work. Effective information Technology achieves this objective."

Norman Johnston
Think I.T. Team

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