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IT Services & Support

CompuWorks began in 1987 in Pittsfield, MA to help businesses understand how computer systems impacted their workflow. Today we address ever-changing technological challenges while creating a positive business impact. Learn more about our IT services.

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For every industry we work with, we help elevate that organization’s IT readiness. Our IT solutions can be tailored to meet your needs and address sector-specific challenges. Learn more about the industries we serve.

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About CompuWorks

Since our humble beginnings, CompuWorks has grown into an award-winning Managed IT Services Provider, building a reputation of technical excellence. Learn more about the CompuWorks way of doing business.

About Us

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware is a type of malware designed to deny access to some or all of an organization’s data. The cyber criminals encrypt your data making them inaccessible without a special decryption key. By locking these files and demanding a ransom payment to “unlock” the precious data, these malware put companies in a position where paying the ransom is potentially the only way to regain access to company data.

You’ve seen it in recent headlines; Ransomware Surge Ruining Lives; the threat is real and is top of mind for businesses of all sizes scrambling for ransomware recovery services. The good news is that you do not have to face the challenge of the latest cyber threats alone.  Let us help you protect your business through ransomware prevention. 

What is ransomware?

Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated in their attacks.  Often targeting specific individuals, the most common way an attacker will gain access to your environment is through your e-mail inbox. Through social engineering methods, cybercriminals pose as familiar people; maybe a co-worker or a boss.  And if they can entice you to click on a malicious link in an e-mail message, they’ve won the battle and have been let in the front door.

Once they are inside your network, most attackers are in no rush to let you know.  They’ll spend time, weeks or months in some cases, mining your data for anything of value.  Cybercriminals will attempt to find and capture personal information such as names, credit card information, social security, or driver’s license data.  This ‘dwell time’ can be as damaging as the final act which is to encrypt everything and extort a ransom in return for your data.

 

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Security Awareness Training is Vital

The best offense is a good defense and part of that is making sure your workforce is savvy enough to avoid stepping into these traps.  Our security awareness training is ongoing and an important part of our HealthyIT program.

Learn more about HealthyIT

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Mitigating Risk

Cybercriminals are feverishly gaining in sophistication. Mitigating cybersecurity risk is a monumental challenge requiring rapid threat detection and incident response capabilities. To minimize cybersecurity risk, being able to identify and respond to attacks quickly is essential. CompuWorks delivers the expertise, technology, and cyber offensive intelligence required to hunt for threats across your company’s networks and endpoints and help shut them down before they cause disruption and irreparable damage.

Our Managed IT Security keeps you safe

Cybercrime by The Numbers

  • It is estimated that organizations will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021 (Herjavec Group).
  • The estimated annual cost to the world will be $10.5 trillion by 2025 (Cybersecurity Ventures).
  • Biometric hacking will expose vulnerabilities in touch ID sensors, facial recognition, and passcodes (Experian).
  • Hackers are believed to skim off of a major financial institution, causing millions in losses. (Experian).

Planning For Protection

Backup & Disaster Recovery Planning

Backup & Disaster Recovery Planning

Your data is one of your most valuable assets and protecting it, both from system failure and from cybercriminals is a critical part of any well-planned technology environment. HealthyIT clients are backed up with a state-of-the-art system that provides the ability to almost instantly recover from a serious hardware failure, site disaster, or cyber attack.

How to recover from a disaster
Managed IT Security

Managed IT Security

We help you invest in new security technologies to protect your organization better, or we can help manage and monitor existing systems. Our extensive security expertise and knowledge of getting the most from the latest tools means we are well-positioned to support your needs.

How we keep you secure

"CompuWorks has been assisting me with my company’s IT needs since the ’90s. As my needs grew CompuWorks was there to assist me with a strategy for my IT growth. Initially, I would need them to fix problems. Which they did. Now I need them for strategic planning on everything from hardware purchases to long-range business IT planning. Here is the net of it all for me. My business under the eye of CompuWorks has never been down. The Healthy IT platform they have me on has allowed my company to always deliver for our clients. It also relieves my staff of IT issues that can lead to far more work in an already challenging work environment."

Matthew Scarafoni
Scarafoni Financial Group
Pittsfield, MA

The History of Ransomware

Attackers initially targeted individuals but later went after the big fish to go after the big bucks.

  • PC Cyborg, aka the AIDS Trojan, in the late 1980s. AIDS researcher Joseph Popp released the first ransomware attack. Popp carried distributed 20,000 floppy disks to other AIDS researchers. The disks contained malware that would encrypt their C drive files after 90 reboots and then demand a ransom.
  • GpCode in 2004. This attack encrypted victims’ files until they paid a ransom.
  • WinLock in 2007. This ransomware locked its victims out of their desktops and then displayed pornographic images on their screens unless they paid a ransom via a premium-rate text messaging service.
  • Reveton in 2012. This cyber-attack showed a fake law enforcement page like the FBI and accused victims of crimes, then told them to pay a “fine” with a prepaid card.
  • CryptoLocker in 2013. The next level of Ransomware tactics was seen in 2013, which reaped $3 million before being taken offline.
  • WannaCry in 2017. Affected businesses in Spain and parts of the British National Health Service, causing 16+ hospitals to turn away patients and reschedule appointments. This attack also hit the Russian Interior Ministry, FedEx, Honda, and others.
  • Darkside in 2021. The DarkSide attacks used a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) model to target more prominent organizations like Colonial Pipeline, currently linked to Russian hackers.
  • Revil and Sodinokibi in 2021. More Russia-linked ransomware attacks use software that encrypts files and then demands a ransom in cryptocurrency. In return, victims are supposed to receive keys to decrypt their files. 

Ransomware Q&A

Q. What is ransomware?

A. Ransomware is a type of malicious attack that encrypts files on an infected device or network, preventing them from being accessed until a ransom is paid.

Q. What is the impact of ransomware?

A.  The impacts of ransomware can be significant and include loss of data and downtime which can cause business interruption or shut down.  Loss of business combined with costs associated with remediation along with any payment of ransom can cause financial losses which in some cases can be substantial.

Q.  What is at risk during a ransomware attack?

A. Permanent loss of data is the most significant risk.  Paying the ransom is no guarantee that your data will be restored. In recent years approximately 1 in 5 small businesses who suffered a ransomware attack and paid the ransom never recovered their data.

Q. How do ransomware attacks work? How do they access my computer?

A. In most cases ransomware attacks are initiated by a phishing or spear-phishing e-mail message. These e-mail messages appear to be legitimate but instead, contain a link to the attacker’s malicious software.  By clicking on this link the user unknowingly opens the door to the attackers.

Q. Who are malicious actors?

A. The profile of perpetrators of ransomware attacks-these malicious actors- is varied but they fall into several categories.  These include cyber terrorists, government-sponsored actors, and cybercriminals. Most have a profit motive or seek to cause disruption for political or other gains.

Q. Can ransomware be removed?

A. If you are able to detect ransomware before it encrypts your data it may be possible to isolate and remove it.  However, once it has encrypted your data your options are more limited.  A good backup and disaster recovery system can allow you to recover to a point in time prior to the attack.  If that fails, your options are to pay the ransom or live without the data.

Q. What do I do to protect against ransomware?

A. Tools and technology can only go so far in protecting you from ransomware.  A good e-mail filtering solution is the first step.  But the single biggest thing you can do to prevent ransomware is to be educated.  Security awareness training is essential in reducing the risk from these attacks and in quickly recognizing them when they occur.

Q. Should I pay the ransom?

A. Paying a ransom is never the first solution. Not only is this costly but paying ransom funds the criminals who perpetrate these crimes and may be used for other nefarious purposes. That being said, some businesses, when faced with what could be an existential threat choose to pay the ransom when it is their only alternative.

Q. What happens if the attacker does not decrypt my data?

A. There is little you can do in this case.  And while in the majority of cases data is restored, there are cases where the attackers disappear or even demand additional ransom.

Worried about a ransomware attack? Learn more about how CompuWorks' ransomware protection experts can help to avoid threats swiftly, affordably, and hassle-free.

Schedule a call today