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Warning about encrypting ransomware: Safeguard your QuickBooks data with Intuit Data Protect

In today’s world, enjoying the benefits of computers and technology means also dealing with threats. What if your valuable accounting data (QuickBooks) was suddenly taken away from you? What if you were threatened with extortion/blackmail to get it back? That threat is as real as ever with malware like ransomware (for better understanding, see full definition at Wikipedia). It can take the files in your computer and encrypt so you can’t access them.
Firstly, it is important to understand about the threat and, secondly, to know about steps you can take to mitigate the threat.

Our in-house specialist, Mike Ryan, has actually stood face to face with systems infected with the encrypting ransomware. I want to share his experiences with you in this month’s blog.

What were your experiences and lessons learned?
“It [encrypting ransomware] is only becoming more popular because perpetrators are getting what they want – vast number of victims are actually paying. There are several versions that come out all the time from different hackers. So you can’t block them all. They are not technically viruses, they are Trojan horses that purport a user to “need to” (1) open the attachment in an email, and (2) run a fake cleaner from an infected website.”

What do you think about also adding the Intuit Data Protect to have another backup of the QuickBooks file?
“Yes, Intuit Data Protect is one more backup that should mitigate the damage. “Out of band” backups seem to be the only types of backups that these things [malware] can’t get to and attack.

Also be careful with mapped drives, it [encrypting ransomware] loves that. Even if just one computer has the ransomware, the mapped drive to the server (that is, Quickbooks data folder) gives the ransomware program more data on the server to attack. It is that simple.

In short, the more backups the better.”

To help prevent and attack ransomware:

• Number one weapon is an educated user. Microsoft has information at Ransomware
• Ensure all your systems have current active anti-virus/anti-malware protection
• Do not open unknown email attachments, especially compressed zip files – even if the least bit suspicious, don’t
• Do not click on strange or unknown links – again, even if the least bit suspicious, don’t
• Do not install/run software from strange or unknown websites – once again, even if the least bit suspicious, don’t
• Have good backups – I repeat, have good, very good, extra, additional, alternative means of backups; no amount of backup is overkill

Included in your Intuit QuickBooks Enterprise software subscription or Full Service Plan is Intuit Data Protect (IDP). Intuit Data Protect is QuickBooks’ intelligent, offsite backup service. This is a secure online backup for your critical business data, that is, your QuickBooks company files. Once set up, IDP automatically backs up your QuickBooks and business documents to a safe online location at the frequency of your choice, without interrupting your day.

There is hardly anyone in the world more manic about keeping data safe than Mendelson Consulting. We help clients with multiple-pronged backup methods that are virtually asteroid-proof. And we just launched a monitored backup service to enhance the spatial reach of our recommended backups. For help with Intuit Data Protect or any other backup recommendations, please contact us at 954.447.0250.

MARIO NOWOGRODZKI, CPA.CITP

MARIO NOWOGRODZKI, CPA.CITP

Mario Nowogrodzki, CPA.CITP, is founder and principal of Mendelson Consulting (www.mendelsonconsulting.com), an accounting technology firm that assists entities with planning, selecting and implementing business management systems. The firm was selected as Top Technologist by the Sleeter Group and Top Integrations Advisor by Insightful Accountant. Nowogrodzki is a member of the Florida Institute of CPAs Business Technology Section; a contributing author and speaker for Intuit, Accountex, and the Woodard Group. Contact him at mario@mendelsonconsulting.com or at 954-447-0250.

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