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School District Learns Hefty Financial Lesson in Cybersecurity

May 08, 2018 | By Admin

Ransomware

As an investment, cybersecurity can cost as low as $25 dollars.

A breach, however, can cost thousands of dollars. The choice is yours.

That was the lesson learned by a small city located about an hour west of Boston, Massachusetts.

The Leominster School District found itself virtually unable to perform basic business operations after being hacked by cybercriminals, such as accessing their email system.

To make matters worse, the hackers demanded $10,000 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency to restore their systems!

Welcome to the world of ransomware, a type of cyber-attack that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to their system until the ransom is paid.

Sometimes even law enforcement authorities are helpless in solving these cyber-crimes. According to Leominster’s Chief of Police, “Solving this is really impossible.”

The Police department is not continuing the criminal investigation and advised the school district to pay the ransom.

So the school district was forced to pay the ransom. Adding insult to injury, even after payment was made, the systems had not been restored!

How do you continue operations when you’re locked out? They couldn’t.

What do you do when this happens? Do you pay the ransom? They did.

Do you lose the data of an entire school system including student, employee, and financial records? They couldn’t afford to.

What about concerns such as critical data being sold to the black market leading to crimes such as identify theft? The list goes on! And this is why cybersecurity is crucial.

Within the digital landscape, even a simple data-encrypted cyber-attack, such as the school’s ransomware attack, can literally cripple an entire business, whether it’s for-profit, non-profit, government, or education.

The National Small Business Association estimated that an adverse cyber-attack costs a victimized company over $7,000 on average; however, for small businesses whose business banking accounts were hacked, the average loss was $32,000.

The number of cyberattacks and data breaches has been increasing over the years, and small and medium-sized businesses are at a high risk of being attacked by ransomware due to basic weaknesses in cybersecurity.

Further intensifying these risks is the fact that cyber-attacks can be purchased on the dark web – no technical knowledge required - for as low as $10 per hour.

Fortunately, similar attacks against protected websites cost 2.5 times as much!

Once again, begging the question, do you implement cybersecurity or do you become a victim?

To avoid becoming a victim, you can utilize a comprehensive website security solution for basic to advance protection.

Enterprise website security

For starters, having visibility into lurking threats by continuously scanning your website will help detect vulnerabilities before they attack.

One such solution, such as cWatch Web, offers this remediation at no cost.

cWatch Web also offers 6 layers of advance security technology for $25.

Who knew you could arm your business with cybersecurity analysts for that price?

 

If only the school district knew… it could’ve saved them $9,975.

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