Natural disasters are the go-to threat when company leaders think about data loss. After all, these events have the power to take out whole data centers and render businesses completely incapacitated. However, focusing solely on Mother Nature ignores the fact that manmade dangers are also present today. From rogue hackers working alone to complex criminal organizations that sell huge amounts of stolen data, cybercriminals of many descriptions can cause untold damage to corporate information. When gauging the need for data protection systems, these nefarious individuals should never be far from the discussion.
“Extremely destructive cybercrime methods have become relatively commonplace.”
The push for cloud backup solutions and other advanced forms of data protection is one of the most important conversations going on in corporate IT today. Organizations that haven’t made the switch yet need to consider the frightening consequences that may result if they wait further. Cybercrime is one of these risk factors, especially now that extremely destructive methods have become relatively commonplace.
Locked down data
SC Magazine recently reported that ransomware, a threat type commonly associated with consumer cybercrime, is gaining a foothold in the corporate world. Instead of destroying data, criminals using this method cryptographically seal information away and hold it for ransom. This is a major problem for companies – paying off hackers who have stolen content is clearly a situation that no leader wants to find him or herself in. Installing several systems to defend data in these cases is only prudent, as SC Magazine pointed out that there are several different ways to hold data for ransom, from social engineering to high-tech hacks.
In the past, crimes were carried out against individuals. SC Magazine quoted Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery Engineer Shane Dyer, who noted that cybercriminals are attacking companies rather than single users. These events involve spear phishing for a password, then infiltrating networks rich in content to steal. This shift shows a marked rise in confidence among criminals, who are willing to chase large payouts.
Having a backup of data will protect users from attacks that threaten to delete locked down content, helping firms get back to work immediately, but what about those who threaten to sell content or reveal it publicly? SC Magazine did note that these situations are becoming more common. To fight such intrusions, firms will need encryption. With files encrypted both on servers and in backup locations, IT departments may be able to stand strong against attackers.
The news provider stated that the modern era of ransomware as a threat increases the need for “good backup hygiene.” That means testing the content protected by remote backup systems to ensure it is whole and hasn’t been compromised. Nettitude’s Jules Pagna Disso told the source that users of these systems must do their part to protect information, learning best practices and isolating backed up data from end user machines.
Targeted for ransom
While extortionists are moving to attack larger companies, they have hit many kinds of targets in the past. A recent Detroit Free Press column by Susan Tompor explained the cybercrime epidemic in detail. The author quoted Enterprise Risk Management President Silka Gonzalez, who stated that the entrepreneurs have faced attacks thus far. Criminals suspected these small organizations had weak defenses and struck.
Some of the businesses being hit by such attacks are law firms, Gonzalez stated according to Tompor. As for ransom amounts, companies have been commanded to pay in the thousands of dollars. Some have been handed $20,000 or $50,000 price tags. It’s clear how disruptive such an event could be for a small or medium firm, or even a large one. Tompor stated in clear terms that this wave of threats is one major reason to embrace data protection and backup.