Cyberattack On Leading Accounting Firm MNP

A top accounting firm in Canada, MNP LLP, admitted that it recently became a victim of a cyberattack. The attack, identified on April 5th, 2020, hit so hard that it had to shut down its system. The move was necessary to avoid the infection of other systems. All the 80 offices in the company remained offline while investigations continued.

Ransomware Attack MNP Canadian Accountants

As a result, the company was closed for the rest of the week. Before experts reconnected the computers to the server, all of the company’s employees were requested to take their computing devices to the IT staff who secured them. The company hired a third-party firm to carry out investigations.

According to Glassdoor, the accountants at MNP earn a salary for 37.5 hours every week. Any employees who work extra hours can take some time off, depending on the number of hours they worked the previous week.

Since they could not work for some time, the company is deducting 32 hours of their banked overtime. Some employees may go negative on their overtime bank, which means they will be owing MNP. The cybersecurity incident has put a considerable dent on the income of many MNP accountants.

Some of the employees feel that the company has treated them unfairly. MNP’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Randy Mowat, confirmed the matter but did not comment on the salaries matter.

Continuing Investigations

MNP continues to do investigations about the matter. The investigations may continue for several weeks. At the moment, the full effects of the attack are not clear. It is not yet clear if the hackers accessed client information. When the investigation is complete, MNP will find out the full impact of the attack and take the relevant precautions.

How Should Companies Handle Ransomware Attacks

Unfortunately, ransomware attacks are a real threat for many businesses. MNP is not the first victim of ransomware attacks. Maze Ransomware leaked files obtained from a ransomware attack last year. Other ransom families have been doing the same in an attempt to get money from their victims.

There are many other ransomware families, including Clop, DoppelPaymer, REvil/Sodinokibi. All companies should treat ransomware attacks as data breaches. If hackers steal your data in an attack, you should assume that they have compromised your data as well.

How Ransomware Attacks Happen

One of the most important things to note about ransomware attacks is that they do not just appear on your computer. You, or your employees, unknowingly start the download of malicious software. You are vulnerable to the attacks if you do not know what to look for in potential attacks.

Some of the most common tricks that cybercriminals use to initiate their attacks include the following:

  • Banking institutions asking you to open a link
  • People in your contact list with a file attachment
  • Mail carriers such as FedEx letting you know about package delivery and then asking you to click on a link
  • Common service providers with invoice attachments

When you click on the link, the ransomware encrypts data and makes it impossible to access data. You will then see a screen asking you to pay ransom to avoid further access to your files. The worst thing about the attacks is that you may open malicious files without immediately knowing it.

In conclusion, the number of ransomware attacks continues to increase over the years. However, there are lots of ways to prevent it. The most effective one is employee education. When employees know how to detect malicious files, they can avoid them. Even though MNP is the latest victim of ransomware attacks, many other companies face similar attacks.

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