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US Department of Homeland Security Gets Serious About Ransomware — Issues Alert(TA16-091A)

By Wes Dunn
Apr 5, 2016

Recently, reports of hackers infiltrating big companies becomes more prevalent in our news feeds, radio reports, and publications. These hacks and subsequent reports only serve to demonstrate how fragile our digital lives can be, especially when it comes to a business’s data and the data a business stores on behalf of and about its customers. As individuals, we want to be able to trust that our information is being kept safe by the organizations that we interact with; businesses/offices like realtors, accountants, financial planners, tax professionals, doctors, and lawyers. So, how do these businesses protect themselves? If you happen to be in one of these professions, you might be asking yourself how you can better protect your customer’s sensitive information, and in turn, protect your business!

Over the past month or so, we’ve seen reports of hospitals having trouble with hackers and a type of malware called Ransomware. To put it simply, this malicious software makes its way into a computer or network and effectively locks out anyone on that computer or network from being able to open any files. Think about this in a hospital, what medications need to be administered for a patient? what surgery is scheduled for what patient? It’s a scary thought.

So scary, in fact, that the Department of Homeland Security’s United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has issued an alert about the topic of Malware and Ransomware, it’s sources, it’s effects, and recommended prevention strategies that businesses should implement in order to safeguard their proprietary information and/or their customers’ sensitive information. The very first recommended strategy in the US-CERT list just so happens to be something near and dear to us here at Jungle Disk; BACKUP! The recommendation reads as follows:

“Employ a data backup and recovery plan for all critical information. Perform and test regular backups to limit the impact of data or system loss and to expedite the recovery process. Ideally, this data should be kept on a separate device, and backups should be stored offline.”

We might be a bit partial to the solution that we offer to businesses, but we echo the sentiments of the US-CERT team and believe that all businesses need to take steps to keep their data safe and secure. Make the choice to build a data backup and recovery plan for your business, so that if you do happen to fall victim to Ransomware or some other malicious malware, you won’t have to ask yourself if it’s worth the risk to pay the ransom.

How does Jungle Disk fit into the US-CERT Recommendation?

Well, Jungle Disk is a pioneer of secure encrypted cloud backup. Back in 2007 when Amazon Web Services first introduces their Simple Storage Service (S3), Jungle Disk was one of the first products to make backing up to “the cloud” simple, cheap, and secure. We’ve continued on this mission and over 25,000 businesses believe in our efficacy to keep their important data safe, secure, and available for recovery when the time comes.

Jungle Disk’s Backup Vault fits this recommendation exceedingly well. Any computer, laptop, PC, or server can use Jungle Disk to: