The Colonial Pipeline is back online after reportedly paying five million dollars in Bitcoin. It will take a week or so to catch up on the amount of gas stations which are out of gas. Like many corporations, their IT department was woefully lacking in industrial-grade security, and even this virus could have been rendered useless had commonsense measures been taken for data backup. I worked in data security for over two years, so I know the level of expertise that is needed to safeguard computer and digital assets at the corporate level.
Incidentally, you can take steps in your own computing tasks to prevent the devastating aspects of ransomware. First and formost: back up ALL your important data in locations that is not connected to your computer’s Internet. I myself use an external drive that I disconnect physically from the computer to house all my essential data. In addition, you can use the services of a competent cloud backup service, as they will have backups of all your data, sometimes multiple backups. In addition, you should have a plan on restoring your computer operating system in place as well.
If you haven’t backed up your data, though, then if you are hit with a ransomware attack that affects all your important documents, then consider those files useless. Consult your IT manager on how to prevent your company systems from ransomware, as well as all threats associated with Internet-based malware. Finally, never navigate to websites that are fishy. Porn sites and pirate software and movie sites are rife with such threats, and should be avoided at all costs.