Preparing for the Latest Privacy and Network Security Threat
Have you heard of CryptoLocker yet? If not, it’s time to learn more about it, and inform your clients as well. This new and particularly deceitful privacy and network security threat literally takes your computer files and holds them for ransom. This “ransomware” typically arrives through an email attachment, often a fake FedEx or UPS tracking notice.
Once CryptoLocker encrypts the computer’s files, it demands payment via Bitcoin or MoneyPak, and installs a countdown clock that ticks backwards from 72 hours. Those who let the timer expire before paying risk losing access to their files forever.
This privacy and network security threat may seem like something out of a science fiction movie, but it is very real. Dell SecureWorks estimates that up to 250,000 systems were infected globally in the first 100 days of the threat, first detected in September 2013. Countries with the top infection rates were the U.S., Great Britain, Australia and France. The average ransom is about $300.
Many businesses and organizations were, and are still, unprepared for this privacy and network security threat. For example, in North Carolina, a law firm lost access to thousands of legal documents in February 2014 when it became a CryptoLocker target. The malware came in an email attachment that looked like it was form the firm’s phone system, which sends voicemail messages as attachments. The firm attempted to pay the $300 ransom but it was too late.
While so far small businesses have been the main target, the criminals behind this privacy and network security scam could become more ambitious and begin targeting larger businesses. They could also begin raising their ransom demands as well. So what can you, and your clients, do to prepare?
Before an incident can occur, reach out to computer consultants to learn how to strengthen your computer defenses. Find out what other layers of security protection you need, whether it’s an enhanced firewall, better passwords, or better staff training about the dangers of email attachment. Businesses and agents should also be prepared to act quickly in case they do become CryptoLocker targets. Establishing a relationship with consultants ahead of time and knowing who to call in case of a privacy and network security attack is imperative.
At PL Risk Advisors, we understand that all industries and companies could face the risk of a privacy and network security breach. Privacy and Network Security Insurance is a must for both small and large firms to protect against this widespread exposure. Please contact us today at (855) 403-5982 to learn more about these coverages as well as our Professional Liability products.