What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a category of viruses that encrypts files on a victim’s computer and keeps them locked until the victim pays up. If you don’t pay the criminals who spread it—up to $5,000 per user, according to the FBI—you lose the files forever.
Imagine you arrive at your office to find all your computers padlocked, and a man in a mask demanding $5,000 per user to give you the key. That’s what ransomware is like.
Numerous tech publications have listed ransomware among the biggest digital threats facing businesses today. This is due to its capacity to slip through corporate security and its potential to replicate itself across a corporate network. The first ransomware targeting Macs has recently been spotted in the wild.
If your company gets infected, you face two very hard choices: Either spend multiple days recovering the locked files from backups—during which time you’ll endure user downtime, lost sales and angry customers—or pay ransom to an organized crime syndicate.
(Even then, still need to wipe and restore your computers to remove the virus. Without a business continuity plan in place, your business suffers downtime regardless. More on that later.)
The employees of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center can tell you what it’s like. This February, they were forced to take their PCs offline so I.T. could contain a ransomware outbreak and restore the files.
They spent 10 days relying on fax machines and paper charts. They made unwanted headlines in the New York Times, the BBC and countless other publications. In the end, they ended up paying $17,000 in ransom, just to avoid even more protracted downtime.
This report, which is based on a survey of 300 IT experts, helps you understand the true cost of ransomware, learn some basic prevention and containment techniques, and plan for business continuity to avoid downtime in the increasingly likely even that your business will get hit.
BUSINESS CONTINUITY WITH SHARESYNC
2-in-1 file sharing and backup offers instant rollback and instant access, enabling users to keep working during a ransomware outbreak
ShareSync is a universal file management tool: it combines real-time backup and file sharing into a single product.
This 2-in-1 feature set enables users to collaborate like Box and Dropbox, while offering complete file backup & recovery across any failure scenario like Carbonite and Mozy.
Among its feature set is the ability to roll back a user’s complete file set to any point in time. It’s a simple, do-it-yourself process: you select the archive you want to restore, select the target point in time—down to the minute—and press the button. Your archive is instantly rolled back to its state at that point in time. A user can then access those files instantly through the web or mobile devices, even as they’re re-syncing to the user’s computer.
|File sharing services
(Dropbox, Box, OneDrive)
|Backup services (Carbonite, Mozy, Crashplan)|
|Web and mobile access to files||Y||Y||X|
|Real-time (not scheduled) backups:
Files are backed up every time they change
|Syncs major content folders
(Desktop, Documents + shared folders)
|Point-in-time restoration from backup||Y||X||Y|
“Business continuity” is the ability for the business to continue operations immediately after a disaster, or even while a disaster is ongoing.
Many businesses have a crisis response plan in place for natural disasters, power outages and other disruptions. Fewer have “e-crisis” response plans for cyber threats such as ransomware. That’s one of the reasons ransomware has been so disruptive to businesses and so profitable for criminals: business continuity solutions have not previously existed.
In order for users to continue working during a ransomware outbreak, two capabilities are required.
Some of these capabilities exist in file sync and share products. Other capabilities exist in backup products. Ransomware has been so lucrative for criminals because these two capabilities have never before been present in a single product.
In the event of a ransomware outbreak, this combination of features—which can only be found in a 2-in-1 file sharing and backup service—keeps infected users productive.