It’s been a bad week for the corporate world.
Things started off with a bang thanks to the “WannaCry” ransomware attack that targeted more than 200,000 company locations in more than 150 countries. Among other things, it brought the UK’s NHS to a complete standstill and idled auto factories in France, but hospitals and manufacturing facilities weren’t the only targets. Put Disney on the list as well.
Yes, not even entertainment companies are immune to hacking, although it should be stressed that in Disney’s case, the hackers didn’t rely on the “WannaCry” malware, but more conventional means.
To grab a copy of the fifth installment of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and threaten to release it online unless their demands were met.
This isn’t the first time an entertainment company has seen one of their prime properties held captive. Not long ago, Netflix suffered a similar attack when an entire season of the hit show “Orange is the New Black” was stolen.
The recent wave of attacks brings up an interesting philosophical question. Should you give into the hackers’ demands and pay the ransom?
Ultimately, the answer to that question is going to be different for each person or company. In some cases, it’s just easier and more convenient to thumb your nose at the hackers and take the plunge, restoring your files from the most recent backup you have, but other cases aren’t quite so clear cut.
Depending on the computer that’s been infected, you might lose critical, up-to-the-minute data that simply can’t be recovered, which may make you lean in that direction.
Of course, paying the ransom itself carries risks, because there’s no guarantee that they won’t take your money and simply not hand over the key. Sometimes you even get the key but it doesn't work. Unfortunately, by the time it gets to the point where you have to make that decision, it’s too late to make a good one. As ever, the answer lies in prevention, which fortunately, you can decide to do something about right now.