I’m sure if you’re like most people you’ve heard about the Colonial Pipeline Company cyber attack that has crippled the United States eastern seaboard petroleum pipeline operation. This pipeline supplies fuel to most of the major airports on the eastern seaboard of the United States.

I know you are thinking so what? What does this have to do with my professional services firm and why should I care? It can seem like this doesn’t affect you at all. There is an important lesson in this current situation.

The pipeline operators were hit with a ransomware attack. The type of ransomware used and the people behind the ransomware are using new and aggressive tactics. These tactics can include

  • They start sending threatening emails to your employees or team
  • If they get no where with this that start calling senior leadership and executives on their mobile phones
  • Then they might threaten to contact clients or customers or the press

They also make sure they obtain a copy of all your sensitive data and study your computer systems. This then allows them to up the pressure on you if you don’t pay and threaten to release the data on the Internet or on the Dark Web.

Further the amount of ransom being demanded by the ransomware operators is increasing exponentially. In 2019 the average ransom demand was US$115,000. In 2020 this rose to over US$310,000 which is a 171% year over year increase. In 2021 the average payment has more than tripled 2020’s figure to approx. US$850,000

For most professional services practice managers, partners, and directors you’ve likely been told by your existing IT support or IT services company you can rely on them restoring from your backup and you’re all good. As this change in tactics shows, you can no longer rely on this as your recovery position.

Further, it’s unlikely you have the spare US$850,000 sitting in your bank accounts to pay the ransom to stop them from releasing all your confidential information for anyone to find. Sure, you might be covered by your cyber liability policy, and the insurance company can try and deal with this on your behalf. This is a crucial piece, which can then open you up to notifiable data breach situations, and potentially cause you and your firm irreparable damage to your reputation and livelihood.

Naturally, this doesn’t stop you and your team from suffering indirect “costs” that could have been prevented had you been given the right advice by your IT support or IT services company.

So how do you avoid suffering this crushing fate?

Obviously, you want to work with an IT Services or IT Support company with extensive cyber security experience that implements on going cyber security services to monitor the security of your professional services firm’s IT systems 24x7x365. This must be a multi layered approach across all your IT systems either in house, in the cloud and hybrid systems. The service must also have guaranteed response times and you must know how long the data is going to be retained for.

You also want to view your IT and Cyber security protections and overall technology platform as an investment into your professional services firm. One thing you may not be aware of is the return on investment in your professional services firm can produce 100% to 200%. An excellent return on investment in the stock market is between 6% and 8% per annum. Naturally, the investment in your professional services firm is the winning strategy. As a professional services partner or director, you must learn to think, make decisions and act as an INVESTOR if you truly want to get ahead, understanding the value of time. Especially your own.

Combine robust IT and cyber security solutions and secure the future of your professional services firm today.

Book a free initial consultation and let us show you

  • How we deliver you enhanced peace of mind.
  • How we can increase your team’s productivity.
  • How we protect your personal and professional reputation as well as your livelihood.
  • How to ensure you do not suffer the devastating consequences of a cyber-attack and we guarantee it.
  • How to be a hero to your clients.
  • How to get that return on investment you deserve from your professional services firm.