Are you ready for a ransomware attack?
Ransomware attacks are back in the news and have the potential to seriously disrupt your dealership. In fact, ransomware attacks “can cripple your business,” says Jay Adams, president of MaddenCo Inc.
Last week, a massive ransomware attack hit more than 1,000 businesses in North America, Europe and Asia.
The attack – what some are calling the biggest ransomware attack to date – followed a ransomware strike in May that led to the temporary shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline, which supplies the US east coast with at least 50% of its oil. (Click here to read MTD’s report on the impact of the shutdown on tire dealers.)
âOrganizations that do this type of activity have become more sophisticated, as have the demands of those organizations,â says Adams.
The group that took credit for last week’s ransomware attack demanded $ 70 million in cryptocurrency, according to reports.
âI would also like to note that there are now more opportunities to attack sensitive data, given all of our devices that are networked. “
The best defense
Jared Bailey, TireMaster Operations Manager for ASA Automotive Systems Inc., says the best way for tire dealers to defend against ransomware attacks âis to be proactive in their approach to security. You don’t need to be a technical assistant to keep your system secure. Just make sure you do these things: “
Install anti-virus / malware software. âHaving anti-virus software is essential to prevent your system from getting infected,â says Bailey. “Don’t compromise on antivirus software for its price,” which, he says, “will be eclipsed by the cost of removing a virus and the man-hours required to restore your lost data.”
Make sure your connections are secure. Bailey recommends using an internet browser with the latest security protocols – such as Chrome or Firefox – when surfing the web. âAnd make sure all the websites you visit are secure. Secure websites, he explains, “will always start with https: //. The ‘s’ is critical. Websites that start with just http: // are not secure.
Keep your system up to date. âAnytime your operating system, point-of-sale system, or accounting software tells you it’s time to update, do it. Systems with the latest software are less vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and crypto-viruses.
Do not open emails or click attachments from unknown senders. âIf you receive an email that looks suspicious, the safest option is to simply delete it without even opening or downloading any attachments,â says Bailey. âI hope your spam filters will catch all phishing emails before you even see them. But be sure to always verify the sender’s address – especially on emails asking for personal information or passwords. These messages are almost always phishing emails.
Use cloud backup. âWhile you can do your best to protect your data and systems against ransomware, there is never a 100% guarantee. It is therefore essential to be prepared and protect your business data by using cloud backup.
Bailey notes that ASA works with tire dealers “to help them protect their data in the cloud” and also works with data recovery specialists to provide high levels of encryption and security, while ensuring recovery. complete data in the event of a cyberattack. .
‘Must be addressed’
Ransomware attacks “are a definite problem that needs to be addressed by businesses and that includes tire dealers,” notes Adams of MaddenCo.
“In many cases, tire dealers are small businesses that may not have the time or scale to adequately protect against ransomware, so there may be some vulnerability for this reason.”
Click here to read an MTD 2017 article about a tire dealer whose company was the victim of a ransomware attack. âIt’s nothing you wanted to relive,â he told MTD.