It Can Happen to You: Stay One Step Ahead of Hackers

If you haven’t heard of ransomware, the simplest way to describe it is when hackers gain access to your digital network via malware, then cut you off from access until you pay a ransom, hence the name. You basically have the option to pay the pirates, or to start from scratch on your entire network. There are several ways to protect yourself from a ransomware attack, but as you will find out below, these attacks can happen to anybody. To demonstrate that this crime can happen to any type of entity, we’re walking you through some of the most expensive and most famous ransomware cases to businesses that span across several types of industries. Also, if you think the threat of ransomware is an old issue that is no longer a threat, think again. All of these attacks happened in 2020. 

Cognizant -Technology Company + Consulting (Estimated cost: $50 million) –
The employees at Cognizant are used to helping others with their technology needs, acting as consultants, but technological pirates got the best of them during this HUGE attack. Not only did they have to pay $50 million in ransom, but also had to pay for legal fees, data recovery fees, and consultation costs to get everything back to normal. 

Travelex – Currency-exchange company
This company was hit with malware that shut down internal networks, their website, and even apps for several weeks until they finally opted to pay the $2.3 million ransom to regain access to their data and online services. 

University of California San Francisco – School of Medicine
Learning institutions aren’t safe from malware attacks either. Unfortunately, UCSF School of Medicine was hit with an attack, and while they were able to negotiate down from the original $3 million demanded, they did end up paying $1.14 million to the attackers. 

Communications and Power Industries – Military Device Component Manufacturer
The manufacturer of a defense item can’t be attacked, right? Wrong. The company that normally makes missile seekers and other warfare technology had to pay $500K to unlock their servers. 

Grubman Shire Meiselas, & Sacks – Media & Entertainment Law Firm
When attackers gained access to this law firm representing A-list celebs, the law firm felt there was nothing left to do but pay the attackers $365K, and possibly more after attackers continued to taunt them. 

Tillamook County – Government Entity – (Estimated cost: $300,000)
This quiet Oregon county is normally famous for their top-of-the-line dairy cows and farming techniques, but this time, the Tillamook County government had their email, phone systems, and website taken over until they decided to just pay the $300K versus spending millions on restoring service.  

After evaluating that list, you might be wondering how the heck you’re supposed to protect your business from an attack. Well, you can follow all the rules IT tells you all the time, including backing up systems and reminding employees to keep their information private. However, if the worst happens, SOGO Insurance is here to help you through the situation. Ransomware insurance can provide protection and help with payment to clients, customers, and suppliers who are affected by your breach. Get in contact with our agents immediately to ensure that you are covered in the event of this common type of attack. 

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