Video: A victim of ransomware: Xavi's story

It only takes one click on the wrong link and you might end up the victim of a ransomware attack. It almost sounds like something from an exciting movie, but these types of cyber attacks also happen to Dutch SMEs. What happens if you are a victim of cybercrime? And how do you protect your business from ransomware? This is Xavi's story.

What happened?

Xavi is 42 and the founder of a video editing company with 5 employees. His business is going well, and Xavi sees opportunities to grow it even more. One day, one of Xavi’s employees opens a file that looks like an invoice. The employee does not know that this file is the first step in a ransomware attack. Several weeks later, Xavi is sitting behind his work laptop when suddenly his screen goes black. A message appears on his screen. The criminals have locked his systems and all files have been taken hostage. His company has been hacked. He can only use his files and systems again if he makes a large payment to the cybercriminals.

What does Xavi do?

Xavi does not know what to do at first. Should he pay the ransom or not? He decides not to pay and reports it to the police. Using a backup from the previous month, his employees can resume work. As a result, however, they lose a few weeks of work. Deadlines are not met and some customers are angry. It has been a disappointing period for Xavi’s company.

What now?

Xavi is shocked. He had not really paid attention to cybersecurity until now. His business has grown at a rapid pace, but his digital security has not grown with it. Xavi and his employees were not well informed about the risks of working online. He decides to take 4 steps to make his business safer in the future:

Make better backups

Xavi thought backing up his systems once a month was enough. But due to the ransomware attack, he and his employees lost weeks of work. That could have been avoided. So Xavi decides to schedule an automatic daily backup of his systems.

Use better antivirus software

Xavi also reviews his antivirus software. Why did his software not catch and block the cyber attack? He looks more closely at the available options to find antivirus software that suits his growing business.

Run a pen test

Xavi is curious if there are other vulnerabilities in his system. He commissions a penetration test, also known as a pen test. An 'ethical hacker' tests the digital security of his network, systems and software. Based on the report, Xavi learns the weaknesses in his digital security and takes action.

Take out a cyber insurance policy

Xavi finds out more about cyber insurance. He considers insuring his company against damage caused by cyber incidents and adds this to his business plan.

*Xavi's story is fictional but based on real-life events.