- The Heritage Company closes doors until further notice due to a ransomware attack
- After paying a ransom to get the ‘keys’, company still unable to recover fully
- Lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, CEO paid salaries from own pocket
- IT experts unable to get systems back on track, now losing hope
- Employees told to check back for update and look for alternate options
The Heritage Company hits dead end after a ransomware attack
A U.S. based telemarketing firm, The Heritage Company, that deals with fundraising for non-profits, has reportedly shut down temporarily.
Hit by a massive blow from an ominous ransomware attack, the organisation has apparently left 300 employees jobless on Christmas.
The firm says that the cyber attack happened in October, but they underestimated their ability to recover from it. They had to pay the ransom just to get their servers back up and running.
However, their IT experts have not been completely successful in the endeavour and the company ultimately faced hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of losses.
Their accounting and mail systems have also been brought down as a result of the attack, which barred most of their funding activity.
How did the Heritage company cope with the attack
The details of the cyber attack have not been disclosed in the message shared by the company’s CEO Sandra Franecke
“Also, since then, I have been doing my utmost best to keep our doors open, even going as far as paying your wages from my own money to keep us going until we could recoup what we lost due to the cyber attack,” writes Sandra.
After a holiday season full of gifts, which the CEO paid from her own pocket, the company claims it can no longer survive like this and was left with only two options-close the company or suspend operations until recovery.
Not surprisingly, it chose the less harsh of the two. Therefore, until further notice, the company has asked its employees to look for other jobs and wait for an update about whether the IT department has been able to bring back the systems and restructure the company or not.
It is important that companies keep their employees in a loop when such an incident happens. For around two months, the employees had no idea what was coming their way.
It is also vital that cyber security should be taken seriously and reconsidered as to what priority it holds in the business. Ransomware attacks are a frequent sight in today’s digitised world.
In fact, a ransomware attack happens every 14 seconds and by next year, it will happen every 11 seconds. There have been many cases where companies chose to shut down rather than recovering from a crazily expensive ransomware attack.
What you can do to protect yourself from a ransomware attack?
Here are some golden rules you need to follow to protect your company from being stripped of its hard-earned assets by hackers:
- Malware are often installed on systems through phishing campaigns. Employee training in basic cyber security is necessary to avoid such disasters. Our corporate training program will come in handy here.
- Backup of all important files should be maintained. Also, a regular test run of the backup is as vital as keeping one.
- Hiring cybersecurity experts goes a long way in protecting yourself from future attacks. Regular penetration testing and an efficient incident response team are keys to prevent and recover from cyber attacks respectively.
- In case of a ransomware attack, it is important to hire professional cyber crime negotiators so that they can guide you on how to deal with attackers.
Did you know that Entercom radio was hit by a ransomware attack recently that cost the radio giant millions of dollars? Not long after, it was hit by another cyber attack.
Moss Adams, the accounting and wealth management firm, also suffered from a cyber attack recently. Even a US Coast Guard Maritime facility had to suspend operations for 30 hours after Ryuk ransomware attacked their systems.
What do you think about this unfortunate news? Share your views with us in the comments section below. Let your company know about this incident so that they can take precautions before they fall victim to an attacker.
Stay tuned, stay safe.