In addition to ransomware demands and payments hitting new records, the recent ransomware attack on software firm Kaseya threatened businesses worldwide. In response, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has published a fact sheet to help both public and private-sector organizations in preventing and responding to ransomware attacks. Ransomware hackers threaten to release sensitive information if a victim does not pay the ransom demanded (GCN Staff, GCN, CISA updates ransomware tips, August 23rd, 2021, 2021, https://gcn.com/articles/2021/08/23/cisa-ransomware-fact-sheet.aspx). CISA’s fact sheet is very informative. For example, in terms of preventing ransomware attacks, CISA recommends encrypting sensitive information, implementing firewalls to protect networks and systems, and applying network segmentation, i.e., backing everything up in different places. However, for RB’s Computer Service, these ransomware prevention strategies are nothing new. We have been helping customers create, implement, and maintain ransomware and malware prevention strategies for years. As the ransomware attack at software firm Kaseya demonstrates, business owners not only need to educate themselves but implement a ransomware prevention program without delay.
What Happened at Kaseya?
Kaseya is a Miami based software firm that provides tech-management tools to customers worldwide (Edward Moyer, C|Net, Ransomware attack on Kaseya, a software firm, threatens businesses worldwide, July 4th, 2021, https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/ransomware-attack-on-kaseya-a-software-firm-threatens-businesses-worldwide/). One of those tools is a SaaS for supply-chain management, a product called VSA. VSA lets small and medium-size businesses remotely monitor their computer systems and automatically take care of routine server maintenance and security updates. Hundreds of companies, including a railway, pharmacy chain, and grocery chain in Sweden, were directly hit. But at least 36,000 were indirectly affected by the attack because Kaseya advised all its customers to take their servers offline (Edward Moyer, C|Net, Ransomware attack on Kaseya, a software firm, threatens businesses worldwide, July 4th, 2021, https://www.cnet.com/tech/services-and-software/ransomware-attack-on-kaseya-a-software-firm-threatens-businesses-worldwide/). Some of the victims received demands for $5 million in ransom to get control of their system back.
2021 Sees Record Ransomware Payments and Demands
The average ransom paid by ransomware victims has increased by 82% since 2020 to a record $570,000. Cybercriminals have intensified their ransomware efforts with increasingly aggressive tactics (Sebastian Klovig Skelton, ComputerWeekly.com, Ransomware demands and payments hit new records, August 10, 2021, https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252505116/Ransomware-demands-and-payments-hit-new-records). In terms of ransomware demands, the average ransom demand increased by 518% from the 2020 average of $847,000 to $5.3m, in the first half of 2021.
What Can You Do to Prevent Ransomware?
Educate yourself and implement a ransomware plan. Business owners that study the CISA ransomware fact sheet but take no action are not going to protect their business. RB’s Computer Service recognizes many business owners don’t know where to start. However, we can help you assess your network’s vulnerabilities. Then we can create, implement, and maintain a ransomware and malware prevention strategy. For small businesses, we offer affordable Managed IT Service Agreements.
If you need help setting up a ransomware strategy, contact us today via phone or email: 763-441-3884, firstname.lastname@example.org. As the ransomware attack at software firm Kaseya demonstrates, business owners not only need to educate themselves but implement a ransomware prevention program without delay. In addition to ransomware protection and malware removal, RB’s Computer Service sells the best commercial-grade firewall routers, best laptop computers, best desktop computers, business computers, computer parts, and computer monitors. We also provide managed IT services, computer repair, iPhone and smartphone repair, and tablet repairs to customers and clients throughout central Minnesota and St. Cloud.