Recimage-call-your-motherently we met with a middle age business owner and conducted our proprietary and highly valuable free assessments of his computer network.   Candidly, this business owner was on top of his technology to a fair extent. He was knowledgeable, kept things up to date, and was aware that he would need to upgrade his server within a year as it reaches its “End of Life.”

When we visited him to follow up on our assessment and share our findings and recommendations, only a few items were identified that he was not already aware of.  He was grateful for our meeting.   During it, one thing we did note was that he had one XP machine on his network.  Since Windows XP Operating System had already achieved “End of Life” and was not supported by Microsoft, it made sense for him to replace the machine due to the fact that it was vulnerable to attack when exposed to the Internet.   He responded “That’s my elderly mother’s PC. I don’t worry about it.”  We thanked him for his time and set up a time to talk early in the new year about next steps relating to replacing his server.

Just about a week later, we got a call from this business owner.  It seems that a virus entered his network, the CryptoWall virus.  It resulted in all the data across his entire network being encrypted and he was left with the choice of trying to download some of his data from his offsite backup program or paying the ransom to hopefully retrieve his data.    He enlisted some of our help and we were glad to assist.  

Of course, we asked if he knew how the virus got into his network and he quickly owned up to the fact that his mother (on her Windows XP machine) had clicked on the wrong spot in an email that she had received.   

This business owner, while already smart, got a little smarter and realized that even one, extraneous, rarely used old XP machine put his entire business at risk.  The lesson:  Replace “End of Life” hardware and software so that you do not potentially suffer the same consequences.  At IT Radix, we would be happy to help.  

One final lesson:  Call your mother!