The $30 Solution to Ransomware

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is becoming the number 1 form of malware, affecting individuals and businesses alike.  In 2019, ransomware attacks are expected to climb to over 11 billion in payments and repair damages.  The typical business hit by a ransomware attack will spend about $133,000 to recover its information or restore its environment. However, for many small businesses and individuals, the effects of ransomware can be mitigated for as little as $30.  Having your files backed up to a cloud server may not protect your files since the malware will find these repositories and encrypt these files also.

Hacker

Workspace Setup

I run a small business from my home, employing under a dozen people.  I also use my computer for personal use.  I take a trip every year which results in several hundred photographs.  I keep my operating system current, I have installed anti-virus software, and use a personal firewall. My home network consists of a main workstation, a printer, a backup drive, and a Wi-Fi router for laptops or other mobile devices that I want to access my local resources. My main workstation is a Windows system, as is my laptops.  I have Kindle and Pixel phones available to connect to my LAN.

I have had this arrangement for the better part of 10 years. 

Here are some statistics:

  • Pictures – 13.2 GB consisting of 7829 Files in 196 folders
  • Documents: 36.3 GB consisting of 153,075 files in 2130 folders
  • Music:  7.35 GB consisting of 2908 files on 1007 folders

After a decade of running a small business as well as managing my social network from my home computer, I have about 57 GB of information to protect. 

$30 to Stop Ransomware Attacks

Check out the latest USB drives on Amazon.  Amazon is selling 64GB password protected USB drives for under $10.  These USB drives weigh less than 2 ounces and can fit on a keychain. 

Here is the protocol I follow, and I suggest you do the same to spend only $30 to prevent a ransomware attack.

  • Purchase three 64GB USB drives. 
  • Run a complete backup of your system on a weekly basis, simply selecting the top level folders and dragging them to the USB folder on one of the drives.  Each backup takes about 20 minutes. 
  • Keep one USB on a keychain, another in a file drawer, and the third in a safe. 
  • If you ever get compromised, the most amount of information lost is one week’s worth.  Lost keys result in two weeks of lost data. However, the information is protected.

If I am attacked by ransomware, my backup files are safe since they are not on the network.  I pull out my laptop, turn off the Wi-Fi, and can continue to execute my business in standalone mode.  When I want to send a file, I activate my VPN on my cell phone and I am back in business.

You will have to spend more money or time to wipe your workstation, and re-install your operating systems or have someone do that for you – but your information is protected.

Why Choose ASCERTIS Solutions

ASCERTIS Solutions can conduct a security assessment of a small business in a week and provide a roadmap for your company to implement a cyber defense strategy that fits your budget.  Trained security professionals can be hired on a part-time basis to fill the role of Chief Cyber Security Officer (CISO) to assure that your roadmap is implemented in a timely and cost-effective fashion. 

If interested, please contact assessments@ascertis.solutions.

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