MNS Cuts Ransomware Costs In Half For St. Louis Accounting Firm

Ransomware would have cost this accounting firm in St. Louis a lot more if they didn’t have MNS on their side. If you were hit by ransomware right now, how much would it cost you?

Ransomware would have cost this accounting firm in St. Louis a lot more if they didn’t have MNS on their side. If you were hit by ransomware right now, how much would it cost you?

You’ve probably heard a lot about ransomware and other cybercrime threats. It’s easy to hype up the doom and gloom about cybercrime – fear is often a great motivator.

But at a certain point, it’s probably turned into background noise, right? You hear so much about types of threats that you get numb to it.

Here’s a reminder of just how real cybercrime is: an MNS client that works in the accounting industry was hit by ransomware in June of this year. They were particularly vulnerable because they hadn’t been changing out their backup drives.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the target’s data (making it unreadable and inaccessible) and holds it for ransom. It targets all data on the target’s systems, making it impossible for them to ignore until they pay the ransom, or wipe the data.

Typically, an unsuspecting employee clicks on an emailed attachment that appears to be a bill or other official document. In actuality, the attachment installs a malicious software program (malware) onto the computer system.

How Did Ransomware Infect The Accounting Firm?

Operating in the financial industry, this firm had more than 10 employees – one day when they went into work, they couldn’t access any of their data. Everything was encrypted, and all they had to go on was a message from the hackers, demanding they pay a ransom in return for the encryption key.

There are a number of ways that hackers can trick targets into downloading ransomware:

  1. Phishing: Phishing is a hacking technique that “fishes” for victims by sending them deceptive emails. Phishing attacks are often mass emails that include ransomware as an attachment.
  2. Malvertising: Hackers have found vulnerabilities in many popular, modern browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. They spam users with official-looking pop-ups informing them of an “infection” or “security alert” prompting them to download a file or click a link. That’s where the ransomware comes into play. As with so many of these methods, it just comes down to getting the user to interact with malware in some way without knowing it.
  3. Out Of Date Hardware: Many of the most common malware and viruses used by cybercriminals today are based on exploiting those programming flaws; to address this, developers regularly release software patches and updates to fix those flaws and protect the users.

How Did MNS Address The Situation?

Using a Proven Data Recovery solution, MNS was able to negotiate the ransom down by more than 50% – from $59,000 to $28,000. With the capability to recover at least some of the accounting firm’s data, MNS took leverage away from the hackers and forced them to lower their price.

In order to make sure this type of attack won’t happen again, MNS implemented a Business Continuity Disaster Recovery Solution, as well as a Sophos Firewall to protect against intrusion. We are also in the process of installing Sophos Interceptor X, an endpoint security solution that protects businesses by using machine learning capabilities.

As a whole, this accounting firm is now better protected against ransomware, and can trust that they won’t have to pay out to hackers again any time soon.

But what about you?

What Would Happen If You Were Infected With Ransomware Right Now?

Do you have a plan?

Are your system endpoints protected?

Are your backups recent, tested, and viable?

It’s easy to assume that just because you haven’t been hit by ransomware yet, that you won’t be anytime soon. You may think you can put off investing in an effective business continuity plan, but without warning, you may get hit.

Don’t assume you’re safe. Take the time to make sure you are, or you may end up having to pay a ransom.

Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more:

Ransomware’s Cruel Greed: Proven Security Protects Your Business

How Can You Focus Your Company on Reliable Anti-malware Strategies?

9 Cybersecurity Terms You Need To Know