img blog Ransomware Attacks Are on the Rise Targeting Businesses of All Sizes

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Ransomware Attacks Are on the Rise, Targeting Businesses of All Sizes

If you’ve been keeping up with technology news, you’re probably aware of the growing threat of ransomware attacks. A ransomware attack is a type of malware which a hacker uses to lock you out of data, and important files and to make matters worse demands significant payment for you to access them again. These attacks have become a national problem, impacting not only small businesses but also larger institutions. Take the case of Lincoln College, a private college in Central Illinois. In December 2021, they fell victim to a ransomware attack that encrypted their vital data, forcing them to pay $100,000 to regain access (Chung).

Lincoln College was already facing challenges due to the pandemic, with declining enrollment and significant technology investments (Chung). This ransomware attack further exacerbated their problems, crippling their recruitment efforts, student retention, and fundraising campaigns (Chung). As a result, this 157-year-old institution had no choice but to close its doors for good (Chung).

Many small to medium-sized business owners mistakenly believe that hackers aren’t interested in targeting them. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Hackers view smaller businesses as easy targets, using social engineering techniques to deceive employees and gain access to their personal and professional information. By infiltrating your network, they can wreak havoc on your operations.

To ensure the success of your business, it’s crucial to educate your staff about the latest cybersecurity threats and trends. By doing so, you can prevent them from falling victim to these attacks. The consequences of a breach are significant and can include financial loss, damage to your reputation, and potential legal liabilities. Moreover, a ransomware attack can halt production, leading to even greater losses than the ransom itself.

Don’t underestimate the seriousness of ransomware attacks. Stay informed and take proactive measures to protect your business from these increasingly prevalent cyber threats otherwise you may just end up like our next example.

In December of 2023 the VF Corporation, the company behind brands such as Vans, Timberland, The North Face, Dickies, and Supreme announced that 35 million customers had their personal information stolen in a ransomware attack (Gatlan). According to Sergiu Gatlan, “As a result of the attack, VF Corp was forced to shut down some of its systems to contain
the breach and experienced interrupted replenishment of retail store inventory and delayed order fulfillment, which led to customers canceling orders and delays of some wholesale shipments.” So, if these global corporations are facing immense consequences due to ransomware, what can you do to prevent your small business from being affected? Well, for starters if you aren’t already signed up for cyber insurance then it’s time to start looking into it so you can be covered in case an incident occurs. As we mentioned in last month’s issue there are a few precautions that you will be required to set up in place with the help of a Managed IT company. Check out last month’s article on cyber insurance at

Are global corporations being heavily impacted by ransomware attacks? If so, how can you protect your small business? One crucial step is to consider cyber insurance coverage in case of an incident. In our recent article on cyber insurance (, we outlined the precautions you’ll need to set up with the help of a Managed IT company.

It’s also important for your employees to implement multi-factor authentication for all accounts. This extra layer of protection requires users to authenticate using a code sent to their email, via SMS, or through a phone call before accessing their accounts. Keep in mind that this is just one aspect of account security, and additional precautions such as using a password manager should also be in place. A password manager securely stores your passwords in one location and can generate complex passwords for you. It can also alert you if you’ve used the same password for multiple accounts. For more information on password managers and proper password management, check out our blog at

Attention Management: Ensure your staff receives cybersecurity training to protect your company. If you have a Managed IT provider, they should already be offering a training program for you and your staff. If not, never fear, Sundog offers free cybersecurity training on our YouTube page for you to share with your team. This training will cover essential topics such as multi-factor authentication, password management, and how to recognize and respond to phishing emails, the top method hackers use to obtain sensitive information.

Regarding your IT provider, it is crucial that they help you and your staff stay updated with the latest software and backups for your workstations and servers. Running on outdated software can leave your network vulnerable to hackers and cause downtime for your team. Implementing a proactive IT strategy ensures that your IT assets are regularly updated every 3 to 5 years. Failure to do so can result in compatibility issues with new equipment, supply chain disruptions, and increased susceptibility to hacking attempts, as seen with the recent discontinuation of Microsoft Server 2012.

We strongly encourage you to start developing your strategic IT plan as soon as possible. A great place to begin is by scheduling cybersecurity training for your staff, as they are your first line of defense. If you need assistance with on-site training, the Sundog team is available to help. Contact us or visit our YouTube channel for previous training webinars. If you don’t currently have a strategic IT partner, schedule a quick 10-minute Discovery call with us to get started on a plan tailored to your needs and the needs of your staff.

Chung, Christine . “Lincoln College to Close, Hurt by Pandemic and Ransomware Attack.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 9 May 2022, Accessed 22 Jan. 2024.

“Vans, North Face Owner Says Ransomware Breach Affects 35 Million People.” BleepingComputer, Accessed 22 Jan. 2024.

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