These hackers are good at what they do.”
So how can shops protect themselves? Anderson advised, “First thing they can do is contact their IT department to make sure their system is secure. Then, make sure they have good insurance so the ransom is covered. Once it happens, it can be solved, but there’s definitely a cost to resolve it.”
Another impacted shop owner who prefers to remain anonymous offered this advice following his experience: “Hire an outside IT company to audit your IT network; you want them to try to penetrate your system to find the faults and loopholes. Don’t tell anyone, particularly your current IT support company, about this audit because you want it to be random. Upon the audit discovery, you’ll find out if you’re getting what you’re paying for monthly from your IT support company, and you’ll learn how quickly and closely they operate and monitor your business. They should see things happening quickly and spring into action by notifying if they are good.”
He continued, “You also want to make sure your IT support company is backing up your business onto the cloud on their own along with local offsite backups. Backups should be done daily, if not more frequently. Everyone should also be performing onsite external backups to the server and a computer. It’s important to have multiple external hard drives that get switched out daily.”
“Make sure you have insurance coverage for cyber-attacks, loss of customers’ information and ransom attacks. This is not something that is blanketed on your insurance policy. You need to discuss coverage for all these items separately,” he urged, adding, “Do NOT rely on technology only. Run your business with good processes and procedures that will allow you to operate in the event of a technology attack and/or the loss of computers and the internet.”
Cropper was able to turn the ransom into his insurance company and was refunded $3,500, the full ransom amount after paying his $500 deductible, but ransomware is not covered in every policy, so it’s important to check with your insurance company.