I periodically run into people that think that they can scan important documents to PDF’s and store them safely on their network.  They think this is a great, inexpensive solution rather than purchasing an ECM (enterprise content management) system such as Laserfiche.

One thing that these people overlook is how vulnerable these files are to hackers.  One of the most serious threats to these files is ransomware attacks.  Hackers gain access to your network and encrypt all of your files, so you don’t have access to them.  Then they demand payment to release these files to you. Attackers, who infected the city of Atlanta, GA systems with the SamSam malware, asked for a ransom of about $50,000 worth of bitcoin.  According to an article in Wired magazine, the city refused to pay the ransom and spent over 2.6 million dollars to remedy the situation.

This is not an isolated case. The US Defense Department denies, on average, 36 million attempted attacks on its email every day.  CNN reported “On average, small companies lost over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime. For one in six organizations, these attacks caused 25 hours or more of downtime.  A large organization like Target could bounce back from a ransomware attack, but for a very small one, where all the information is lost, it’s a lot harder for them to rebound.”

Your IT may tell you that your files are safe.  But according to Sophos, an industry-leading security vendor, “75% of organizations infected with ransomware were running up-to-date endpoint protection.”

You may be thinking why would having an ECM, such as Laserfiche, remedy the situation?  This is because only the Laserfiche client software can access the files in the ECM.  The ransomware software or other malware cannot in any way access the image files.

Here is more information on paperless solution for Community Action Agencies