The way ransomware attacks generally work is a malicious threat actor will compromise your business’ network, lock it, then demand a multi-million dollar ransom in return for the keys to unlock it.
Interestingly, these ransom payments are increasingly being sought in cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin.
We’ve seen this a lot recently, targeting both large and small businesses. A couple of famous ones were the attacks sustained by JBS Foods and EA Sports.
Obviously, the best defence against this sort of attack is ensuring you have a strong security posture, including a 24/7 onshore security operations centre monitoring your network, and red teaming testing your security operation.
But if you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having been attacked, and you’re left with no choice but to pay the ransom (as is sometimes the case), it might be worthwhile having your business already set up with a crypto wallet.
Now, we’re not suggesting you go out and invest in Bitcoin, but having the infrastructure in place to allow you to acquire Bitcoin quickly might be helpful, if you’re ever attacked.
The reason being that if your attacker demands payment in Bitcoin, which they probably will, you’ll have no choice but to provide it that way.
If you don’t already have a crypto wallet set up, that can days to arrange. You have to go through an ID process, be verified, then transfer the money to buy the Bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency.
In the meantime, your business remains offline, costing you even more money than the ransom already has.
When you think about it, the vast majority of businesses in Australia are transaction-based, like retail and hospitality. So, taking their POS and inventory systems offline for a couple of weeks is going to have a potentially catastrophic impact.
So, while it might not be palatable to think that your business could fall victim to a cyber-attack, let alone be left with no choice but to pay a ransom, it is possible.
Thinking ahead and preparing for that eventuality by establishing a crypto wallet in advance, could help mitigate the damage done, if you ever find yourself in that unfortunate situation.