Cybersecurity For Advisors: How To Prepare For Ransomware

November 15, 2021

By Jeffrey Ingalsbe, Financial Advisor

Imagine: You’re in an important meeting with clients, and you’re trying to pull up their files. Suddenly, you’re met with a menacing pop-up. “Your files have been encrypted,” the pop-up says. “For the decryption key, send $5,000 to account 00015 on Bitcoin before the timer runs out.” You look down, panicked, to see a timer set for 48 hours in the corner of the screen. You don’t have that kind of money to throw away, but you have important client information that you must access and protect. What can you do?

Ransomware attacks like these are one of the fastest-growing methods of cyberattack in the world. According to Fortinet, ransomware attacks increased by 435% from 2019 to 2020. If it happens to you, you could stand to lose not only the money you may pay to get rid of the hacker but also days of work while you clear your networks, important data that you may not get back, and—most importantly—client trust.

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