Stealing Information Via Ransomware Is An Accounting Firm’s Next Biggest IT Threat

An accounting firm’s best chance at defending and recovering from a ransomware attack  

Ransomware is considered a serious threat to businesses. Whether it is a large or small business, cybercriminals have made halting access to important files or information a multi-billion-dollar industry. In 2019, some of the biggest victims in Vancouver Canada of ransomware include an insurance company and a medical lab, affecting over 15 million people.

Former Ontario privacy commissioner, Ann Cavoukian states, “This past year [2019] was not hopeful at all. There’s a growing trust deficit, both in terms of public and the private sector [on privacy].” Often all the victims of a ransomware attack can do is pay the ransom demand and hope that the criminals will release their information back to them without selling it. Vancouver Accounting firms may be considered a prime target for ransomware attackers due to client information and all the personal financial information that a firm could store for their clients.

Defenses Against Ransomware

According to Det. Sgt. Vern Crowley, head of the Ontario Provincial Police’s cybercrime investigations team, roughly 80 percent of ransomware is delivered through email phishing attacks. However, recently he has seen an increase in attacks that involve brute force that assault remote desktop connections. Ways firms could help prevent ransomware attacks include:

  • Have a data backup system in place.  A data backup system with files that have not been affected by a ransomware attack could help with the recovery of vital client information. The backup should not be regularly connected to the firm’s network or be part of a remote back up system with a managed IT service.
  • Start Two-factor Authentication. A strong password is simply not enough anymore with attackers getting more sophisticated each day. Adding a two-factor authentication system with laptops, mobile devices, and other digital accounts will go a long way towards protecting a network. How this type of authentication works is simple, once a username and password are entered the user will then need to enter another piece of information such as answer a security question or a specific keystroke pattern.
  • Educate Employees. As stated above, one of the easiest ways for attackers to gain access to a system is to have a user click on a link provided by a phishing attack, typically by email. Train employees to recognize these types of emails and report them to your IT service or department.

Recovery After an Attack

Many companies and accounting firms truly believe that they are too small that criminals would target them for an attack. However, the mindset of not believing you will be attacked will set your firm up for failure because ransomware removal for Vancouver accounting firms could prove to be expensive.

As soon as you receive a ransom demand for your files, you need to reach out to professionals to assist in stopping the spread of the attack and start the decryption of systems without payment to the attackers. There are no guarantees that if a ransom demand is paid that your firm’s data will be fully restored, and attackers could make copies of the data to sell.

Professionals at Compunet Infotech have a goal to provide the best service possible to not only prevent the attack but to return your accounting firm to normal activities in the shortest timeframe possible. They will help negotiate terms with attackers, investigate the breach, and manage the attack in the most secure way possible.