It looks like the expenses to clean up in the aftermath of the Atlanta ransomware attack keep increasing.
In an earlier blog post about the high cost of ransomware attacks, we mentioned that the actual ransom demanded in a ransomware attack is not the only expense to think about.
Costly downtime, hard-to-shake damage to one’s reputation, and the numerous expenses to clean up the effects of the ransomware attack and restore business back to normal must all be considered when deciding how much effort and resources you should pour into IT security.
In fact, these expenses can all vastly overshadow the initial ransom.
Such is the case with this year’s cyberattack on the City of Atlanta.
Ballooning IT cleanup expenses for the Atlanta ransomware attack
The SamSam ransomware that attacked the City of Atlanta crippled numerous systems, including mission critical ones. Though the city said they declined paying the $51,000 ransom to the attackers, they have disclosed they spent (and will spend) a great deal more to get systems back in shape.
In the aforementioned past blog post, we discussed Atlanta’s budget for post-attack ransomware recovery: a whopping $2.6 million allotted to multiple security and IT firms. There was also another $650,000 slated for crisis communication services and consulting.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there for Atlanta’s ransomware cleanup woes.
A representative from the city recently disclosed it may very well have to pay another $9.5 million in additional costs throughout the next year for further ransomware cleanup.
“Why not pay the ransomware ransom and get your data back?”
Some folks may be asking: why didn’t Atlanta just pay the ransom in the first place?
It’s definitely a complicated issue. Many security experts dissuade victims from paying such ransoms. It encourages the cyber criminals and ransomware authors to keep up the ever-increasing global assault.
With data such an important commodity these days, losing it can be a huge blow to a business or organization, especially when mission critical data is involved.
Many ransomware victims have paid the ransom out of desperation to get their data back. The problem is, the ransomware attackers aren’t exactly the most scrupulous bunch. There are many instances where a victim is left hanging after paying the ransom. They get no data (or incomplete data) plus the unenviable task of cleaning up in the wake of the attack.
“So, what needs to be done about ransomware?”
You may be wondering: what is the best way to protect my business against this ransomware.
“Layers of security is the best defense right now against ransomware,” said Brian Walker, CEO of InCare Technologies. “There’s really no one piece of hardware or software that will completely block all the ransomware threats out there.”
“Each additional layer of security you add makes it that much harder for attackers to breach your defenses,” said Aaron Allen, Director of Technical Services at InCare. “Up-to-date firewalls, anti-virus, and company-wide education on ransomware / malware threats and tactics are a good base for security.
“InCare also offers more aggressive and specialized defense, such as InDefend, which provides potent protection at the DNS layer. InVault Pro, our backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery service, is the ultimate last line of defense.”
Backups: the ultimate defense against ransomware
If a dedicated attacker manages to get past your defensive layers, InVault Pro allows you to “walk back in time,” restoring your last backup. With InVault Pro backing up your data as often as every 15 minutes, and the image-based backups able to be restored much quicker than the tape backup systems of yore, you’ll be back up and running as quickly as possible.
Because the data is made redundant due to off-site replication to two secure, bi-coastal data centers, it’s ultra-resilient to theft, user error, natural disaster, and other unsavory fates that may befall data.
Continued Allen: “The great thing about IT services like InDefend and InVault Pro is they’re managed services. All hardware, software, and monitoring related to the services are managed by us for budgetable monthly fees. That means you won’t need to ramp up from scratch on the hardware or personnel fronts when deciding to commence ransomware protection.
“You also won’t need to worry about spikes in your IT and cybersecurity spending.
“Need protection against ransomware? Contact us today for a free security consultation. Fill out the form below to get started.”
InCare Technologies is a nationally recognized MSP (managed service provider) based in Birmingham, Alabama, with offices in Montgomery, Alabama and Jackson, Mississippi.