“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…” This famous line from a A Tale of Two Cities can be said of some of our experiences with our clients. At IT Radix, our purpose is to help our clients succeed. We do this by providing advice, knowledge and services that enable and protect our clients’ technology and information. As with any good story, though, not all our clients follow the wisdom shared with them. We’d like to share a couple of stories that illustrate this point—perhaps not as dramatically as Charles Dickens but with outcomes that impacted our clients nonetheless.

Imagine a small law firm with a couple of partners, a few paralegals and admin staff. IT Radix had been working with this client for a while and had identified that their server was aging and there was no functioning backup in place. Due to the nature of the firm’s practice, they were not in a position to replace the server; and sadly, at the same time, they opted not to implement a backup. You can guess what happened next… One of the partners fell prey to a ransomware phishing email; and all their computers, including their server, were encrypted. They had no backup and were now faced with a terrible choice—pay the ransom or rebuild all their information from emails, hard copies, etc. They debated as lawyers tend to do. Consequently, the timer for paying the ransom elapsed; and the bounty was increased. At this point, they decided to stay the course and simply rebuild from the pieces that they had. The client has subsequently invested in a new server and backup system; however, we still feel they are missing an important piece of the puzzle. Which leads us to the next character of our story.

The next character of our story is a local professional services company. For the most part, they chose to handle their IT in‑house. The internal IT contact was very capable and a longtime, loyal employee. Together, we partnered up to implement a backup system that they would monitor and manage internally. Time passed, and the internal IT person became complacent about their backup. More time passed and then it hit—ransomware! They called us in and we found that their backup had stopped working about 6 months prior and had gone unnoticed. Once again, the cybercriminals had won—our client chose not to pay the ransom, but they did pay in 6 months of lost work.

Now for a few stories with happier endings… IT Radix managed service clients. While we’d like to say they never fell prey to ransomware, we cannot. The creators of these attacks are clever and constantly changing. It’s an ongoing process to put technology and user education in place to avoid becoming a victim. The good news is that as a managed service client, we have a reliable backup in place and perform regular test restores to ensure everything is functioning properly. We even have processes in place to protect against complacency and the absence of backup alerts. For all our managed service clients who were victims of ransomware, we were able to restore from their backup and very little, if any, information was lost. Definitely the best outcome in a terrible time.

The moral of the story—backup, backup, backup and then test and verify. At IT Radix, we prefer happy endings. Let us help you create one for your business’ information technology so you too can live happily ever after! Call us today and speak to one of our team members to learn more about how we can help your business.

First published in our August 2017 IT Radix Resource newsletter