It was recently reported that a California hospital (The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles) was hit by a ransomware virus and forced to pay hackers $17,000 in bitcoins (the currency used in cyber attacks, where companies or individuals buy the bitcoins to pay). The hospital fell victim to the virus, because an employee opened an email attachment that contained malicious software in a Microsoft document. Employees could not access data, including the electronic medical record system. The hospital CEO claimed that no employee or patient information was compromised and believed that paying the ransom was the quickest way to restoring their systems.

Hufftech raise51d a good question in the aftermath. What do you do if faced with paying the ransom when attacked? Do you pay? Paying the ransom leaves you vulnerable and open to increased demands, which could put your organization in jeopardy. On the other hand, can you get your data back if you do not pay the ransom, and are you endangering your organization or customers? How can this disaster be prevented? We have always stressed the importance of Managed Services to our clients in securing that you have a good backup and delivery (BDR) plan. We also stress the importance of educating every member of your organization on cyber security. As we have written in previous blog posts, our clients who contracted such viruses, and were Managed Services clients, were able to be up and running very quickly due to a good BDR, without paying a ransom.

Another article on Hufftech stressed that every entrepreneur needs to invest in good cyber security. Threats to IT security are on of the most critical issues facing organizations and entrepreneurs today, but most entrepreneurs do not have the time or expertise to determine their IT vulnerability. It is important to have IT professionals steer the route you wil take in securing your data. Hackers are making a fortune off of getting into your computer and stealing information. The trend is just increasing. Hackers are targeting businesses and organizations, because there is more money for them in stealing information from more than one individual. Take the time to look at your IT security and what you need to do.