Here Is How Ransomware Can Impact Your Business

Arkansas-based telemarketing firm, The Heritage Company, experienced a ransomware attack in October 2019 that left them struggling to recover. The telemarketing firm sent home over 300 employees after the incident – letting them know it’s best to find new jobs because their recovery efforts didn’t work out. Christmas was only a few days away, yet over 300 people received letters from the company’s CEO of this unfortunate news. Employees stated that the layoffs were entirely unexpected, and in many instances, they didn’t even know the company suffered a ransomware attack.

Sandra Franecke, CEO, expressed, “Unfortunately, approximately two months ago, our Heritage servers were attacked by malicious software that basically ‘held us hostage for ransom’ and we were forced to pay the crooks to get the ‘key’ just to get our systems back up and running.” She explained that although they initially expected to be up and running in a week, things didn’t go to plan.

How Does Ransomware Work?

In 2013, the first few variants of ransomware came out – hitting a range of businesses around the world. Since then, ransomware has become more sophisticated and targeted. Essentially, a cybercriminal hacks into the system, encrypts all sorts of files, and demands the victim pay a hefty fee in exchange for the decryption key. The average demand? A shocking $116,000. That’s a lot for ANY business to pay, let alone a small to midsize business.

In many cases, even if the victim is able to remove the ransomware from their system, they’re still left with encrypted files – making backups integral to your overall strategy to recover. It’s difficult to recover from ransomware, but typically, paying the ransom isn’t a recommended route as cybercriminals obtain more profits to create even more advanced strains.

What Did the Telemarketing Company Lose?

Franecke stated that the company lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” as a result of the ransomware attack. She also mentioned that they have been forced to “restructure different areas in the company,” but at the end of the day, 300 employees were let go without enough notice to plan ahead, especially given the holidays were shortly after the incident. Although employees were told to call back after the holidays for a status update, it appears recovery efforts didn’t persevere.

When employees called the company, the following recorded message was all they received: “Though we have made progress, there is still much work to be done. With that in mind, we do not prevent you from searching for other employment. Please take care of yourselves, your loved ones, and have a happy New Year.

How Does Ransomware Spread?

Ransomware is typically spread through one of two ways: email attachments or websites. In the case of email attachments, cybercriminals will trick unsuspecting victims into clicking a link or downloading a file that contains malicious software. Typically, they will pretend to be a credible source, such as the government or a bank. In the case of websites, cybercriminals will embed malicious code into a website so unsuspecting victims will have the malicious software downloaded onto their machines.

How Nashville IT Company Kraft Technology Group Keeps You Safe…

Kraft Technology Group prioritizes cybersecurity to keep our clients safe against all types of threats. We provide the following:

  1. Enterprise-grade security solutions that are compiled into a multi-layered approach with anti-virus software, web content filtering, firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection software, and more.
  2. Cybersecurity training for employees wherein we sit down with your employees on a regular basis to cover important topics like how to detect, respond, and protect against the most common threats.
  3. Data backup and business continuity planning that ensures all of your data and applications are backed up and ready to recover in a moment’s notice in the event of an infection.

Need a Nashville IT Services Company That Takes Security Seriously to Protect You Against Ransomware? Call Kraft Technology Group Now: (615) 241-9233.

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