NAPLES, Fla. — CyberSecure IT Solutions, whose headquarters are in Naples said it had to shut down its services temporarily for all of its customers after a ransomware attack, left more than a thousand
They say they acted quickly, and no customer information was stolen.
Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for other businesses around the country, and CyberSecure IT Solutions says a lot of this trouble can start with an employee clicking an unknown link in an email.
“So essentially it’s like a Trojan horse or a virus that then launches and that could sit in the network either on that individual’s computer or be transferred to one of the servers in the network for up to 200 days,” said Christian Wartchow, CEO & cybersecurity expert for CyberSecure IT Solutions.
The cybercriminals that were responsible for the attack used ransomware, a type of software that allows the sender to hold data hostage in exchange for payment.
Wartchow says using stronger passwords and discouraging employees from clicking unknown links is a good foundation for protecting customer data.
Unfortunately, he says cybercriminals are getting better at recognizing businesses with a lack of security.
Wartchow says this is why in a digital age, it could be cheaper to have an IT company handle a business's security than having to play clean-up when data is taken, hostage.
"Let's say it takes a week or a weekend and we have two or three people on the job, it can get very expensive as opposed to if we have everything in place and we know that we have protected you..we have the tools in place… its a much better business decision for a business owner,” said Wartchow.
He says, unfortunately, many of the businesses that are targeted by these attacks aren’t the giant cash kings that you would expect cybercriminals to go after.
“The fact of the matter is, the larger companies have protection, they have the most sophisticated platforms, similar to what we use, where they have the defense-in-depth, the layers of cybersecurity that they need. Most small business and medium business owners don’t have those in place,” said Wartchow.
He's encouraging business owners and their employees to learn from this attack because he says they are not going away.
“When you are running a business you are not going to be thinking about that, you are going to be thinking about running your business. So that’s why people hire us as their IT department to manage those aspects. We are doing that all day every day, all day long. 24 hours a day we are monitoring, managing, providing the defense that companies need,” said Wartchow.
Wartchow says cybercriminals are even starting to call people on the phone in Southwest Florida and direct them to open their email that contains the malicious software.
He says this is why it's always good to stop and think about what they are asking instead of just reacting.
He says most of the time you will realize what is happening does not make sense.