Is Ransomware Really a Threat?

It seems like you can’t turn around without someone talking about ransomware. But is it something that small- or medium-sized businesses need to be aware of, and protect against?


Industry reports show that cyberattacks targeting main street businesses are on the rise. While SMBs may have less valuable data than their corporate counterparts, often this information is inadequately defended. Criminals take advantage because SMBs are less likely to report the attacks and are commonly defenseless against them.

Applied Tech has been on the forefront of the ransomware battle since one of the most malignant variants, Cryptolocker, came to public awareness. Around the time that it became known, one of our own clients was infected. Our team spent days studying the software to understand how it controls data and how we can best combat it. From this experience, we developed scripts to analyze the software and developed best practices to protect our clients.

What to do if you get hit with ransomware?

Once you’ve been struck by ransomware, it’s too late. Protecting yourself starts with prevention. Most importantly, you need detection, firewall protection and strong backups.

Without those, you’re a sitting duck.  If (or when) ransomware does creep in, your data is as good as gone. The malware can continue to spread throughout your network. Depending on the circumstances, it may be beneficial to shut down the infected device and unplug your servers from the network.

Just last year, a client was referred to us after they were hit by ransomware which had infected several of their internal servers and even managed to infect their offsite backups before their IT detected it. We restored their core critical systems quickly, but because it had gotten as far as their backups, they lost a significant amount of data. After their restoration, we moved them to an offsite data center for their backups which affords them more security.

Our approach to combating ransomware

Our expertise and knowledge of ransomware has helped Applied Tech get ahead of the ransomware threat. We periodically review backup protocols and software for all clients, making enhancements that lower their vulnerability to this malicious programming.

Through our innovative approach, we’ve developed several techniques to protect our clients such as blocking communication from infected servers back to the command server that controls the ransomware, thus preventing encryption of files. In the rare instance that a ransomware infection impacts one of our clients, we have the tools to help them recover within a couple of hours.

The threat of ransomware is very real – especially for SMBs. If you’re hit with ransomware, take immediate action and contact a trustworthy IT provider who can take the necessary steps to protect your networks from further infection. Most importantly, make sure that your data is protected before you have a chance to find out that it’s not.

Is your data safe from ransomware? Contact Applied Tech at (608)729-1300

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