With this malware, your data is gone forever. Prevent it!

Image via Kaspersky Lab

It seems like every other week these days, the news carries mentions of ransomware or malware unleashed to hold unsuspecting people and businesses’ information for, as the name indicates, ransom. It is a lucrative and growing form of theft, with a surge of 167 times more ransomware in 2016 than in 2015. Yet, this week, what was first thought to be the latest ransomware attack was something intended to be much worse.

The havoc caused this week by the infection known as Petya/ExPetr acted like ransomware at first look –it would pop up and lock data behind a fake screen demanding money for a code to unlock the data and break the encryption. However, there were holes in the way it operated, and experts quickly realized after analysis that the codes customers had paid for were useless. This malware attack wasn’t to ransom data –it was to destroy it. The alleged unlock codes were just random characters that failed to decrypt anything. It wasn’t spread to make anyone money. Experts are calling it a “wiper”.  Data on infected systems is lost forever.

The list of infected people and businesses grew rapidly, but security firms also jumped right into action.  There are ways to catch a potential infection and stop it.

We’ve long been advocates of staying on top of security and protecting your data. Maintenance is one of the many services we provide, and we understand that losing access to everything on your computer or even an entire office network, could be a devastating and costly process to address. That is the case even when the data that has been encrypted or infected can be cleaned up and restored. In the case of this latest round, that data is simply lost, the extent of which is unknown just yet.

Imagine if your data was suddenly lost forever. We’re often able to recover data due to drive failure, erasure, or common malware infection, but this is worse.

And it’s preventable! Be proactive and save yourself the trouble by contacting us. We’ll set up options to meet your needs, from data backups, top of the line anti-malware and virus protection, to regular maintenance.

Drive Crash? Do You Have a Backup? Tips on Backing Up Your Data

Prevent data loss with regular backups.

Nothing makes us sadder than when drives crash and people lose their important data. Data recovery is often possible, but it can take time and expertise, and be quite expensive. The good thing is that data loss can be prevented.

Don’t let data loss happen to you!  We can help you with both data recovery and creating backups. Here are some tips for you – our Six Dos and Don’ts of backing up your data:


Do: Make sure to create backups regularly. An outdated backup is better than losing all of your data, but by keeping a regular backup schedule, you will go a long way toward always having your data when you need it. Set a reminder on your calendar to keep things updated if they are not automatically scheduled.

Don’t: Although backing up data is possible to do on another section of your computer, we advise that when performing backups, you do them off of the system you are backing up. If the hard drive or the system should crash or fail, there goes your data. Having the backups on an external drive or in the cloud can save you time and money, as well as your data.

Do: Always make sure you have effective virus and malware protection installed.
It’s possible for a backup to back up malware in some circumstances. We have had customers reinfect their system through a backup saved on their computer that had also saved the virus that had made their systems unresponsive in the first place. Malware can also infect external and image backups, but this is less common. However, we can help you make safe backups and show you how to protect your data, as well as update your backup files.

Don’t: If you need your computer’s programs and settings backed up, don’t count on a data backup. Generally, backups are only going to save your data, but cannot save your computer’s programs and settings. For this, we can help you make an image backup of your hard drive. This snapshot of your drive can be used to restore programs and settings. Don’t forget to update your backups of any type, however.

Do: Consider all of your options when you need to back up your data. Whether you want to back up just files to a standard external drive, start backing up data to the cloud and have it accessible from any internet connection, or try a mix of services, we’re happy to discuss options and help you make the right decision for your needs, budget, and preferences.

Don’t: Don’t forget to back up! Whether it’s done manually, automatically, or on a schedule, regularly backing up your data will go a long way toward giving some peace of mind. Let us help you get things started.