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What does ransomware look like to an IT expert?
As part of our blog series about ransomware and its impact on businesses, we sat down with several Intermedia partners to get their thoughts. In this installment of the series, we talk with Felix Yanko, President of Technology & Beyond.
Read the first installment, “Ransomware 101”, and the second installment, “Containing a ransomware attack” on our website. You can also read our report to learn more about ransomware and ways to restore encrypted files and get employees back to full productivity after an attack.
I recently sat down with Felix Yanko, President of Technology & Beyond, to discuss what ransomware attacks look like from the VAR/MSP perspective. As the sole source of IT for many of their customers, Technology & Beyond has seen the impacts of this threat firsthand.
Q: Most ransomware attacks start with a phishing email. Do you see some employees as more vulnerable to attacks than others?
A: “We’ve seen a rise over the past few years in ransomware attacks as well as other cyber-related concerns. On a basic level, ransomware has presented a good bit of distraction for our customers. We receive a lot more customer queries asking about how to handle suspicious emails, and what they should be clicking on. The world is becoming more cyber-aware, but there is still a lot more education that needs to happen. While the younger workforce has learned ‘web smarts’ along the way, the older generation doesn’t have this same awareness. We’ve seen very smart people do very silly things as ransomware attempts have become more and more convincingly orchestrated. It’s still very easy to trick people, so companies have to be prepared with the right security measures in place.”
Q: Ransomware is getting more sophisticated every year. Is there any type in particular that gives you the biggest headaches?
A: “The worst example of ransomware we’ve seen is CryptoLocker. It’s a painful experience that requires you to act really fast. You have to get people to stop working right away, take the infected machine off the network, and start working on it immediately. When there is a server with 20-30 computers on it and one gets CryptoLocker, the whole base of users are taken down for the six hours or more it takes for IT to deal with it. Then, there’s the additional associated downtime, since backup files become corrupted as well.”
Q: What do you see as the biggest difference in terms of impact to a company between ransomware and other types of malware?
A: “With most viruses, you run a scan and you are good to go again. Ransomware is different. Your data is impacted…Most businesses will try to restore from backups—and they’ll usually lose weeks of work due to lost files, plus a day of downtime while the user’s computer is wiped and reloaded.”
Q: How do you see SecuriSync’s new backup features impacting the recovery process for your customers?
A: “Paying a ransom can make a business an even bigger target…With these useful new SecuriSync features, our customers can recover access to hostage files in moments, instead of hours or days, all while avoiding any ransom demands.”
Be sure to check out our report on the threat of ransomware to businesses. And you can learn more about SecuriSync and it’s backup and restore capabilities on our website.