Responding to Ransomware #1

Posted By: Helen Thursday 1st July 2021Tags: , ,

Do I Pay the Ransom?

This article is the first in a series of short articles about how we should respond to ransomware attacks. This small note is about the decision you need to make about paying the ransom.

Firstly, the decision you are making is probably not that important in the great scheme of things.

Secondly, what’s here are broad strokes, we are not giving you specific advice about your specific circumstances. Seek help from someone who will give you tailored advice on your predicament. We can do that by the way.

Contact the Police

It’s a good idea to call the police, they are likely to have a specialist cyber crime unit. If you have special cyber insurance, you’ll have to get a crime number for the insurance company, like most thefts.

Probably not that Important

The view that you probably have is that you pay the money, you get back your data and you can put the horrible incident behind you. Sadly, that’s not going to be the case.

When you’ve paid and got your data back (perhaps), there’ll be a lot of costly work to be done after. You will have to spend considerable time and money to shore up the evident holes in your cyber security.

Why you Should Pay that Ransom Now!

These are some good reasons to cough up that cash:

  • If criminals couldn’t be trusted to unlock people’s data, nobody would ever pay.
  • Your data is incredibly valuable, and you’ve got no backup (you’ll need excellent backups going forward).
  • The ransom is small, the data value is big.
  • If you pay and you get your data back, you’ll feel a bit better.

Why you Should Never Pay that Ransom!

These are some good reasons not to pay:

  • If nobody ever paid these ransomware demands, criminals wouldn’t do these sorts of things
  • It’s all backed up(note) … you complete star!!
  • All your valuable data is stashed someplace much more secure anyway. (note)
  • Giving money to faceless criminals for carrying out criminal acts is essentially wrong.
  • If you pay and you get you don’t get your data back, you will feel an even bigger fool.
  • Not paying is a little victory for you and the rest of humanity.
  • If you pay, they might see you as an easy target and hit you again in the future.

The Ransomware Paradox

Note that point one on both lists sort of contradict each other. “Yes”, people wouldn’t pay if nobody got their data unlocked, and “Yes”, this crime wouldn’t exist if nobody ever paid these scumbags.

This Hard Choice is Yours

It is a hard choice; it hinges on your character and the value of what you might lose.

One of these lists is longer than the other, but that means nothing if the data that’s being held hostage is the life blood of your company.

One of these lists is longer than the other, but that means nothing if the data that’s being held hostage is the life blood of your company.

(note) LaneSystems can provide your company with secure data solutions and regular offsite backups along with other services to reduce the impact of malware and to stop it from infiltrating your business. Better to act before, rather than after.