No one knows better than IT companies just how extensive and daunting the threat of cybercrime has become over the past few decades. The digitization of not only social relations through social media, but the workplace as well, has meant that virtual gold mines of data are targets for the taking for any criminal hacker with the means to do so.
What this has meant is greater efforts on the part of the tech world to combat these growing threats. For instance, HPE has made great strides in increasing data security through their Silicon Root of Trust project, which moves cybersecurity to the level of hardware with a chip that creates a “fingerprint” of the acceptable firmware for the system.
Matrix Integration has also taken the next step in extending a company’s defenses against ransomware through FSRM Assisted Setup Tool, or F.A.S.T.
F.A.S.T. not only helps protect an organization’s files from unwanted changes, but it also empowers a company’s IT team to be more aware and adept at avoiding and preventing cyber-attacks.
Ransomware is a threat to all industries, which is why Matrix Integration strives to play a role in the continual strengthening of cybersecurity for all of our clients, and F.A.S.T. is the next step in our mission.
Why Should I Worry About Ransomware?
Most ransomware works in a similar way: Attack the system, locate critical files, encrypt those files, rename file to encrypted text name, ask for ransom.
What this does, in other words, is that it makes your valuable data inaccessible to you—or only temporarily, if you are willing to pay a ransom, which, if you have no crypto experience, could be a challenging issue itself. When we mentioned that all industries are affected by ransomware attacks, we meant it:
- Recently, two northern Indiana hospitals were disabled due to cyber-attacks.
- Each year, Indiana K12 schools lose valuable instruction time or face critical outages in safety systems due to ransomware.
- Critical manufacturers and entire supply chains can be impacted in the commercial sector.
As you can see above, criminal hackers do not just go after large enterprises with a “bank vault” amount of money to pay, though that is certainly still the case–for example, meatpacker JBS USA paid a reported $11 million in ransom after a ransomware attack.
All industries are vulnerable to ransomware because criminal hackers understand the value of data, and an organization’s dependence on daily operations. So, while a criminal hacker may not get an $11 million payday from targeting a public school, the hacker certainly knows that the school will pay up if the hacker gains access to sensitive information about the students stored on the school’s system, and threatens to sell it online on the dark web.
In the case of hospitals, the same goes for accessing people’s private medical records, which they would certainly rather not have shared publicly. Likewise, criminal hackers understand that causing a hospital’s operations to shut down does more than just cause a profit loss–it puts lives at risk. Therefore, there is a strong chance that a hospital will pay a hefty ransom to ensure that patients do not die because of a ransomware attack.
If you are a small business or other organization that does not have a “bank vault,” do not think that you are not a target, because cybercriminals realize that you value data, such as your customers’ credit card numbers or your employees’ social security numbers, and that you would indeed pay up to protect your employees and customers.
What is FSRM?
FSRM stands for File Server Resource Manager, a native tool allowing users to better manage and classify all of the data on a Windows file server through automated processes, such as quota management (setting how much data can be added to a volume or a folder) and file screening management (controlling the types of files that can be added to a server, and file extensions added to files stored on that server).
If you work in a company that stores and shares documents and other valuable data in an on-premise file server accessible to many users, then chances are your company could benefit from FSRM.
How Does F.A.S.T. Work?
F.A.S.T. serves to leverage the existing features on your file server through a number of useful configurations including alert notifications and monitoring share drive uploads.
For example, if one of your employees accidentally downloads, or—let’s hope not—purposely tries to upload a file with a known ransomware extension to your file server, F.A.S.T. can alert your IT team, and even lock out the employee account, safeguarding any potential threats to the server and your data.
Matrix Is Here to Help
If you are interested in incorporating F.A.S.T. into your organization’s operations to further strengthen the cybersecurity posture of your employees or your clients, then do not hesitate to reach out to Matrix Integration today.