It’s the worst nightmare of any business owner (or computer user for that matter).

You log onto your computer, expecting it to work just the same as it always has, only to find a ransom note demanding something called Bitcoin.

That’s exactly the state that The Heat Group, a large cosmetics company, found itself in after they failed to implement some incredibly basic cyber security protection systems.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware (malicious software) a user unwittingly downloads that locks all the files it can find using a process called encryption. Think of encryption like a lock and key mechanism that wraps up files. In the case of Ransomware, the unlock key is withheld until the ransom is paid.

The ransom is demanded using the online currency BitCoin, which is untraceable.

Mistakes made

The owner of the company was quoted as saying:

It’s a great example where you are only as good as the people around you.

Which is another way of saying “we trusted the wrong people“.

All they had to do was the following to avoid this mess:

  1. Change default passwords
  2. Use Two Factor Authentication
  3. Isolate your backup system from your main network

Where to start

You can’t go wrong if you take your backup system seriously. Don’t assume that it’s working: ask for evidence that it’s working! Be part of the process to understand the scenarios in which your backup system will or will not work.

Engaging your staff with Cybersecurity awareness training and you’ll quickly find that your teams will start demanding to be involved.