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The True Cost of Ransomware.

Ransomware is a major threat right now. According to Datto, experts in data backup and recovery, 80% of managed services providers (MSP) report ransomware attacks in 2018, and 35% report that some of their clients experienced multiple attacks per day. Clearly, ransomware is nothing to sneeze about.

Surprisingly, though, it’s not the ransomware attack, but the downtime afterward that accumulates the greatest cost to your company. Time, manpower, customer and vendor trust are all affected. This increases the importance of defending your company against this threat.

Here’s a quick recap of what happens in a ransomware attack. First, your network or computer is compromised. Next, an intruder plants an infection that encrypts your data files, until, theoretically, you pay the “ransom.” Until then, you are stuck. You can’t use your hardware, applications, or access any of your data. Any employees who connect to your network for their job can’t work. Even if the ransom is paid, the likelihood of getting your data back as it was is fairly small. During this attack, your network is fair game to the cyber criminals, and you’ll have no idea which files they will exploit. In all reality, you might be starting from scratch to get your company up and running again. And that takes time. If you aren’t protected and prepared, you could suffer weeks of lost revenue with a high cost to recover.

The best solution for defending your company against ransomware is a multi-layer approach. To keep your network safe, you must have the following:

  • A properly configured hardware firewall
  • An internet content filter
  • Email scanning prior to delivery
  • Antimalware/antivirus software on each workstation
  • Current operating system and third-party application updates
  • Consistent, reliable, and tested backups

Whether it’s a cyber attack, human error, or hardware failure, a multi-layer approach is a safeguard for when one layer is compromised.

Read more about ransomware!

Backups are one of the most important aspects. They are your insurance policy to eliminate a huge amount of downtime. If ransomware infects your network despite all of the safeguards in place, your current backups will ensure your data is retrievable. Consulting with your IT department or MSP to ensure your backups are properly configured will keep the ransomware from infecting the backups as well.

Unfortunately, many companies don’t have all of these measures in place, and when ransomware hits, things get chaotic. Downtime can turn a disaster into a catastrophe.

Studies show that downtime has twelve times the cost of the actual ransomware attack. To calculate downtime, you must take into consideration direct employee costs, productivity losses, halted company production, and even more importantly, how your clients are affected. Are they getting the products and services they paid for? How does that affect their trust in you?

To counteract these detrimental costs to your company, it is important to focus on prevention and prepare for the worst, so when something does happen, your downtime is minimal. Backup services provide disaster recovery as a service to ensure your peace of mind no matter what.

Downtime Contributors

Ransomware isn’t the only cause of downtime, though. There are other things potentially sapping your company’s productivity every day. Poor performance due to outdated hardware, slow internet speeds, and hardware failure. How much are these often-overlooked daily experiences costing your business?

Old Hardware – New Software

Continually spending money on hardware can be frustrating. Unfortunately, that is the reality in the tech world. One year, the latest technology comes out with a wow and a bang, and by the next year, that amazing equipment is already out of date. Within a few years, it’s obsolete and can no longer handle even the most basic software updates.

Older hardware simply wasn’t designed to handle the latest resource-intensive apps.

Because technology changes so quickly, Anderson Technologies recommends replacing computers every three to five years, depending on your specific requirements. Replacing 20% of your machines per year keeps all equipment on a five-year rotation and your budget reasonable.

How can this plan save your company from downtime?

By upgrading your hardware regularly, your systems stay efficient and fast. You won’t have to wait those 30 seconds for an app to load when it should load in a fraction of that time.

Thirty seconds of downtime doesn’t seem like much until you calculate the cost of those accumulated seconds lost every week.

Hardware Failure

Hardware failure, be it a laptop or server, will happen, and inevitably it will occur at the worst possible moment, like during your busiest time of year. Because of this, it’s best to be proactive. If you’re continually refreshing hardware, not just computers, at the rate of 20% per year, everything will be less likely to experience failure due to age.

Just like with ransomware, the best insurance policy against hardware failure is having up-to-date backups. Failed hardware can easily be replaced, but the information stored on it may be lost unless it’s backed up regularly. Your MSP can help you determine the frequency of backups and provide backup options to ensure that your company can get up and running as quickly as possible.

Slow Internet

This is probably the most common downtime-inducing culprit. There are several factors that may contribute to slow internet. The first step is to double check what speed you pay for with your internet provider and make sure it matches the speed you observe on your network. If the two speeds match, then you may need to invest in more speed.

If you’re paying for a higher grade of internet, but still experiencing slow speeds, there may be something misconfigured in your firewall or switch. If the firewall or switch are over five years old, they might need to be replaced. Older firewalls or switches are just like the old hardware we mentioned earlier – they can’t keep up with the traffic going through them and act like a bottle neck. For instance, your LAN switch may be running at 100 Mbps, but you’re paying the ISP for a 400 Mbps internet connection! Upgrading to a gigabit switch in this example is a simple, cost-effective solution. A properly configured and updated firewall and network switch will give each user the full speed the internet allows instead of bogging it down.

Would you like more information about saving your company from the threat of ransomware and downtime? Contact Anderson Technologies at 314.394.3001 or email us at info@andersontech.com.