News hit this week that the largest county in our state, Mecklenburg County (which you visit when you go to Charlotte, if you didn’t know), suffered a cyberattack. A county employee opened an email attachment laced with malware, which then infected about 10% of the county’s 500 servers. The malware is a special kind called ransomware, which cuts off access to your files unless you pay a ransom. In this case, the hacker wanted $23,000.

The county decided not to pay the ransom, opting to rely on their backup systems. While some ransomware victims do decide to pay the ransom for the sake of expediency, cybersecurity and law enforcement people usually urge people to not pay the hackers. Not only does it encourage them to commit more attacks, but sometimes the files end up being unlockable.

Mecklenburg County also reasoned that it would take nearly as long to get their systems back up and running and secured as it would to restore everything from their backups, which they expect to have done by the end of the year. Until then, however, county processes are crawling along at turtle speed as everything from processing criminals to filing various permits has to be done by hand.

Think about how a ransomware attack would impact your company. Would you have hundreds or thousands of dollars to pay a ransom? If you didn’t have backups of your systems, which too many people don’t, you wouldn’t have any other choice. And even if you did, it’s not cheap to get the IT people out to fix everything. And even if you do have an IT staff, think about what it would be like to run your business without computers while everything gets fixed.

Nobody expects to get hit with a cyberattack, but you can be prepared. Call us today and ask about cybersecurity insurance. It could save your business.

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