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Crypto-Viruses: Why Off-Site Backups Are Essential to Any Business.

A crypto-virus is a type of ransomware that attacks data at its source by encrypting important computer files to prevent them from opening. They begin on any computer in the network and detects other network sources including local servers through shared storage, mapped drives, and other file-connections. With one station out of commission, it excusably rectifiable, but if your local server is affected, then the entire network won’t have access to vital company information and would immediately be halted.

Under the guise of a legitimate file sent through e-mail, this trojan can wreak havoc on a business once it’s downloaded. It’s a possibility that can happen on any computer at any time and even if you have antivirus measures in place. Some recent versions of crypto-viruses have enhanced its code to avoid antivirus detection and can encrypt file data as well as the file name. These viruses render important company files useless without entering a specific decryption key code and until that ransom is paid, the files remain locked.

From 2012 to 2014, a few types of crypto-viruses which affected thousands of businesses generated over 20 million dollars collectively through Bitcoin transactions. These transactions are undetectable allowing the perpetrator to be financially hidden. In 2015 alone, sources reported about 325 million was lost from extortion ransomware and in 2016, a surge totaling about 1 billion. Last year, losses tallied around 5 billion dollars. The boom of this crime reverberates throughout the country, relentless and indiscriminately across industries. To ignore these statistics is pure negligence.

Ransomware and crypto-viruses are among the worst types of infection because it goes directly to data accessibility. Imagine not being able to access your local files or even access data files on a software program hosted on your company’s local server. You quite literally wouldn’t be able to work. This recovery downtime could last day or even weeks, which would cripple the company. If you aren’t prepared for this type of attack, it would be devastating to the entire organization.

Some interesting facts of Ransomware in 2017:

  1. A company is hit with ransomware every 40 seconds.

  2. 6 in 10 malware payloads were ransomware in Q1 2017.

  3. There were 4.3x new ransomware variants in Q1 2017 than in Q1 2016.

  4. 71% of companies targeted by ransomware attacks have been infected.

  5. 72 percent of infected businesses lost access to data for two days or more.


The only fail-safe measure that completely circumnavigates this potential threat is an offsite backup plan. If your data is locally backed up and connected to the network, it’s considered to be in danger of crypto-viruses. However, if you have your data backed up off-site, it is completely separate of the infected network and safe from harm. It’s really the same thing as a bank. If you keep your money at home and your home is burglarized or burns down, it’s gone. The bank keeps your money offsite and is even further backed by the FDIC.

Basically, if you don’t have off-site backups, it’s really the same thing as stuffing all your money in a mattress.

You don’t take that personal risk, so don’t take the business risk in not having proper backup plans.

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