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Ransomware a growing, billion-dollar plague icon

May 10, 2017

Ransomware a growing, billion-dollar plague

The Globe and Mail
8 May 2017
PAUL ATTFIELD
DARRYL DYCK/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Steve Weeks, president of Netcetera, says protecting computer systems is like fortifying a castle, where a moat, drawbridge and patrolling soldiers form layers of defence in front of a wall.

Hackers hold sensitive data hostage, preying on small firms and others with weak protection

John Cantafio is not an IT professional. Nor does he pretend to be.

As president and chief executive officer of Joseph S. Chow Ltd., a Surrey, B.C.-based trucking business, the 57-year-old has enough on his plate managing his 45 employees without worrying about things such as computer viruses.

There are other dangers out there, too, and they’re evolving. While the spectre of malicious software programs has been around for quite some time, ransomware, a type of computer malware that holds a victim’s data hostage for the purposes of extracting a ransom, is a more recent threat.

For peace of mind in that area, Mr. Cantafio employs North Vancouver, B.C.’s Netcetera to take care of that side of his business. As a proprietor who is mindful of both the cost of his business going down for any length of time, as well as having employees relying on him for their livelihoods, he considers it prudent.

“If you’re a single operator and you’re the only one who depends on your business, then go ahead and fill your boots and take the risk,” says Mr. Cantafio, who has used Netcetera since 2001 and hasn’t been victimized. “But when you have more than yourself, whether it’s one employee, or 20, or 5,000, you need to be thinking about it, it needs to be part of your business strategy.”

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