Would you pay a ransom?

Blog Author: Aaron Smith | September 6th, 2013

There are growing Australian examples of systems that are compromised remotely, due to poor security, and then held to ransom.

After gaining access to systems hackers encrypt all the information they can find and then leave a message for the unsuspecting victim to make payment if they want their information unlocked.

 

Messages like that shown above appear on compromised equipment and in some cases seem to come from very official and legitimate organizations.

A story of the Queensland medical practice having to pay $4,000 to decrypt sensitive information illustrates that businesses of all sizes are being targeted and the costs can be significant. If you thought the cost of IT security was inflated or inconvenient how costly and inconvenient is $4,000 to unlock your data before your business can operate?

It is worse than just the $4,000! It is the time and energy required to secure your system after the fact. The only way to be 100% sure your system hasn’t been compromised in a way you may not appreciate is to wipe everything and start again. Yes, you heard me right. The only way to be 100% sure is to wipe everything and start again. Now how expensive is that on top of the $4,000 to your business? For most businesses it makes the $4,000 seem insignificant.

The best protection without doubt is proactive security. When you consider post intrusion costs it is money well spent.

How prepared are you?

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