Island Tech Services (ITS) Advises Municipalities and First Responders How to Avoid and Quickly Recover from Ransomware Attacks

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Integrated Technology Solution Provider Identifies Strategies to Avoid and Quickly Respond to Ransomware Attacks made against State and Local Government and Education (SLED) and Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters and EMS Units

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ITS Identifies Strategies to Avoid and Quickly Respond to Ransomware Attacks made against State and Local Government and Education (SLED) and Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters and EMS Units

Ransomware is increasingly in the news as hackers target municipalities, hospitals and public and private organizations with downtime and recovery costs often running into the millions of dollars. If you oversee an enterprise IT network, regardless of the size, what keeps you up at night is thinking about how long your network might be down following a ransomware attack. “The use of ransomware has become more sophisticated and more targeted,” says Peter Xenakis, an IT security expert at Island Tech Services (ITS) (https://www.itsg.us.com), a leading provider of advanced technology, mobility and vehicle solutions. Today hackers are conducting tailored campaigns to attack specific targets rather than sending random email blasts. And every day, more companies, state and local governments and educational institutions find themselves paying ransom to dark web hackers for access to their own data. Even with the best anti-virus and firewall protection in place, ransomware can quickly infect a network and bring an entire organization’s operations to a halt awaiting payment – often in bitcoin to avoid legal scrutiny. Security experts at ITS say proper business continuity employing a tested and defined recovery is the key to foiling ransomware success. The company has identified a strategy to avoid or quickly respond to ransomware attacks.

“Island Tech Services has demonstrated to our customers that while business continuity can’t prevent their organizations from dodging a ransomware attack, it can help in preventing the attack from being successful,” says Xenakis. “With proper planning and the right technology in place, business continuity – comprehensive network data backups – can significantly lessen the ability of ransomware to paralyze an organization’s operations.”

Ransomware Report Statistics
In a recent study of over 2,500 service provider professionals conducted by Datto, respondents outlined the level of protection their customers had employed while still falling victim to ransomware.

  • 86% reported victims had antivirus installed.
  • 65% reported victims had email/spam filters.
  • 29% reported victims had popup blockers.
  • 92% predicted that attacks will continue at current or worse rates.

A Ransomware Protection Strategy
“There isn’t a silver bullet approach to preventing ransomware attacks for your organization. Instead, we’ve identified a strategy that includes employee education to avoid phishing schemes, endpoint and network firewall and security management, and business continuity with a tested and defined recovery,” says Xenakis. Ransomware is an insidious form of malware. Once activated, ransomware encrypts all files to which it has access, including files on network drives. It also infects other connected workstations and they begin to act in concert – encrypting all the files stored within an organization’s servers. Here is the process ITS recommends for protecting your organization:

1. Employee Education – Proper employee training is the key to avoiding or mitigating the threat of ransomware. The main threat vector for ransomware is employee email and employees must be trained how to identify, avoid and report any phishing scheme. (Learn more at our blog Four Steps Your Businesses Can Take to Protect from Ransomware here: http://bit.ly/2n4j3vz)

2. Endpoint & Network Security – Appropriate endpoint and network firewall and security management must be in place to protect individual desktops, laptops, tablets and servers from malicious attacks. “While not the primary vector for ransomware infection, it is important to take all necessary steps to protect your network,” says Xenakis

3. Business Continuity – Perhaps the most important step to protect your organization from the effects of ransomware is to implement a strong policy of business continuity employing a tested and defined recovery of your data. The challenge when ransomware has been detected on a network is to recover your now encrypted data in the timeliest fashion possible. To do this means setting specific recovery point objectives (RPOs) for the data you want to backup so that, in the case of an attack, you can recover the most recent data that was backed up before the attack occurred. In this way, ITS can reduce the size of the recovery time objective (RTO) window following an attack for our customers. “With proper RPO and RTO planning, we can recover critical customer data in hours and less critical data afterward. This gets customers up and running faster with the data they need now,” says Xenakis.

“Our solutions provide anti-virus (AV) and firewall data protection, alongside business continuity, whether a customer has their data on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid premises-and-cloud environment,” says Xenakis.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with ITS security specialists, call 888-615-2770 or visit http://www.itsg.us.com/.

Want to Learn More?

About Island Tech Services
Island Tech Services (ITS) (https://www.itsg.us.com), is a leading provider of advanced technology, mobility and vehicle solutions to business professionals, first responders and public-sector employees throughout the country. For nearly 20 years, we have helped customers incorporate technology in their work to increase performance, efficiency and security. Our comprehensive and integrated technologies and services span from headquarters, to field techs, to command vehicles. For more information about ITS, please contact us at 888-615-2770 or visit https://www.itsg.us.com

MEDIA CONTACT:                                 
Arthur Germain, Communication Strategy Group; 631-239-6335 x101; agermain@gocsg.com

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