Some of you may have seen in the news over the weekend - there was a ransomware attack on small and medium businesses. This confirms that we are not joking when we say these attacks are detrimental for businesses and only getting worse.
In this blog, we are going to explain more about this attack and what you can do to protect your business in future. We are going to start by explaining what Ransomware is…
What is Ransomware?
You may be thinking this is very scary stuff, but I don’t even know what Ransomware is?
Ransomware is where a group of hackers use sophisticated software to encrypt your files, and lock your computers from access until you pay a ransom. In some cases, they threaten to leak your files onto the dark web. You'll have to pay in untraceable cryptocurrency, and if you pay, there's no guarantee you'll get your files back. Most end up paying the ransom because the lost business due to time to restore systems from backups is seemingly worse than the ransom being demanded.
If your business were attacked by ransomware, could you afford for everything to stop? No, definitely not. All your hard work and time put into your business would be for nothing, so we can’t stress enough that you need to make sure your business is safe and secure.
What happened in the attack?
Cyber-security firm Huntress Labs said the hack targeted Florida-based IT company Kaseya before spreading through networks that use its VSA software. The firm believes the Russia-linked REvil ransomware gang was responsible.
Kaseya VSA is a very popular tool and many of our competitors use it; this tool facilitates the IT company to remotely monitor and execute commands and scripts in order to maintain PCs and servers.
CEO Fred Voccola of the breached software company, Kaseya, estimated the victim number in the low thousands, mostly small businesses like “dental practices, architecture firms, plastic surgery centres, libraries, things like that."
There are only estimates to the devastation, but security analysts are now suggesting it could be as many as 10,000 small businesses around the world. We know it's affecting businesses in the UK, as well as 16 other countries around the world.
Prevent a ransomware attack
In this case, if you don’t use or have any association with this software, there is no immediate risk to you, and therefore no need for panic right now.
Instead, we suggest that you take a proactive approach to this situation. You need to have risk conversations with your IT support team so you can decide on what course of action, if any, you need to employ.
What I will say, is that every small business worldwide is a target for cybercrime. Quite often when I talk to our clients, I get "it won't happen to us, we're too small" - you must understand that many attacks are random and automated, or caused by users, and there is every chance you (and us) will
be targeted. Ransomware organisations are only after money, and most businesses will pay thousands of pounds to retrieve access to their computer systems, so it's easier and cheaper to put in preventative measures.
We have a free guide that you can download and read yourself, so you can learn more about the 9 most terrifying types of malware.
What are Ingenio doing?
Many of our clients will know that we've been focused on talking to and educating people about security, and how the landscape has changed over the last few years. As an IT support company, we take security extremely seriously, and utilise security tools available to us to prevent an attack like this happening.
We use an alternative RMM tool to the Kaseya VSA RMM tool, called Connectwise Automate. This company has its own security operation centre (SOC), and one of their roles is to prevent this kind of attack from happening. Connectwise has publicly made available what they are doing to reassure us and you – as confirmed here.
It's worth mentioning that we are independently Cyber Essentials Plus certified, and are physically tested yearly.
If you’re ready to talk about Cyber security, then get in touch with us. Cyber security is something we feel very passionately about as an IT support company. We care about keeping your business safe and functioning.
Contact our knowledgeable team now – call 01273 806211 or email [email protected]