Ransomware and Cyber Security

Integrated Fire SystemsCompany Updates

Are Your Computers Protected?

laptop with ransomware notice

Last July we experienced every company’s worst nightmare, ransomware. Late at night on the last Sunday in July, we got a worried call from our IT guy saying that our server was hacked. We headed into the office and the news was confirmed. Our server was hacked, and all our documents had been taken hostage through ransomware.

Not knowing what our next steps should be, we all went home to attempt to get some sleep so we could be fresh on Monday. Monday morning, we got into the office and starting making phone calls trying to find an IT company that would help us get back up and running. After many phone calls we got a recommendation from our manager’s friend for a company that helped them get back up and running after a ransomware attack.

Between working with our inhouse IT support, our outside IT support, and our new big IT company it took a while to get back up an running. Since all of our computers were hacked, we bought laptops so everyone could work to some extent. We were also very fortunate to have a backup of our server. But, we still lost 6 weeks worth of company data.

It took about 2 weeks to get our normal server and workstations back up and running. But it took months to recreate all of our data from the 6 week span that we lost.

What Did We Learn

Getting hit with ransomware, especially while battling a global pandemic was the hardest thing to ever happen to our company in the last 17 years. But we persevered. The IFS team worked together to ensure our customers that they were still going to be taken care of. Our scheduler made sure that the Technicians did not miss a beat and kept the schedule going, even with losing 6 weeks of data. Our billing team worked diligently to make sure that we were still able to have cash flowing into the company. And our IT team made sure that everyone was able to work and support our customers.

We all bonded over this experience. We worked hard to support our company and keep everyone’s sanity. Our team also made sure that supporting our customers was our number one priority.

Cyber Security and COVID

We were not the first company to be hit with ransomware after COVID and we definitely were not the last. During our ransomware process, we had conversations with many other people who had either recently been affected by ransomware or knew someone who had been affected by ransomware.

Then we started to do some research and found that according to Crowd Strike “56% of their survey respondents in the past year have had their organization suffer from a ransomware attack”. Crow Strike also reports that “27% of these respondents actually paid the ransom”.

During 2020 Crowd Strike reports that the average cost of ransom paid was $1.1 million. But these ransomware attacks did not stop in 2020. Most notably the Colonial Pipeline suffered a ransomware attack in May of 2021. This attacked affected fuel supply around America.

How This Affects Our Customers

Throughout the past few months, we have noticed that more and more of our customers are getting their emails hacked. It seems to be happening on a bi-monthly occurrence now.

Our goal is to educate our customers on what happened to us. This way it gives you all the opportunity to look at your IT solutions and make sure that your system is protected.

If you have any questions, you can email our IT & Marketing Administrator at ifsmarketing@integratedfiresystems.com

-The IFS Team

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