A Textbook Example As To Why You Need To Defend Yourself Against Cyber Threats

If you don’t think that defending yourself against threats like ransomware shouldn’t be at the top of your list of priorities, consider this story:

An Arkansas-based telemarketing firm sent home more than 300 employees and told them to find new jobs after IT recovery efforts didn’t go according to plan following a ransomware incident that took place at the start of October 2019:

Employees of Sherwood-based telemarketing firm The Heritage Company were notified of the decision just days before Christmas, via a letter sent by the company’s CEO. Speaking with local media, employees said they had no idea the company had even suffered a ransomware attack, and the layoffs were unexpected, catching many off guard. “Unfortunately, approximately two months ago our Heritage servers were attacked by malicious software that basically ‘held us hostage for ransom’ and we were forced to pay the crooks to get the ‘key’ just to get our systems back up and running,” wrote Sandra Franecke, the company’s CEO, in the letter sent to employees. She goes on to say that data recovery efforts, initially estimated at one week, have not gone according to plan and the company had failed to recover full service by Christmas. Franecke said the company lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” because of the incident and have been forced to “restructure different areas in the company.” As a result of the botched ransomware recovery process, the company’s leadership decided to suspend all services, leaving more than 300 employees without jobs.

So let me summarize this for you.

Due to the shortsightedness of this company’s CEO, CTO and executive management, their IT systems were not properly built and secured. They figured that this was an acceptable risk and spend money elsewhere rather than on protecting themselves from something like a ransomware attack. Then they got pwned and had to pay up to try and get back up and running. Except that their attempts to get back up and running failed and now 300 people are out of work.

This is a textbook example of why companies of all sizes need to protect themselves. Companies are responsible for their employees and they need to ensure that they are taking any and all steps to ensure that they are properly protected from this sort of thing. Otherwise you get this bad situation.

One Response to “A Textbook Example As To Why You Need To Defend Yourself Against Cyber Threats”

  1. […] I wrote about a company who’s less than optimal actions in response to a cyber attack left three […]

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