Ransomware Attack: A Blessing in Disguise? How I Turned a Crisis into an Opportunity and Got Acknowledged and Compensated for It


How would you describe your experience of recovering from a ransomware attack that wiped out your domain controllers, file servers, and backups in October? How did you manage to restore your data from your Nimble SAN snapshots and avoid paying the ransom? What security measures did you implement afterwards with the support of your management? How did you cope with the workload and stress of deploying new configurations, redesigning your network, and evaluating different security solutions? How did you feel when your CEO publicly acknowledged and appreciated your work at the company meeting? How did you react when you received a $5,000 bonus check from your boss as a token of gratitude?


How I Survived a Ransomware Attack and Got Rewarded for It

It was a normal day in October when I received an alert from our monitoring system that something was wrong with our network. I checked the logs and saw that some of our domain controllers, file servers, and backups were being encrypted by a ransomware variant. I tried to stop the attack, but it was too late. The attackers had compromised our systems and demanded a hefty ransom to decrypt our data.

I felt a surge of panic and frustration. How did this happen? How could we recover from this? How would this affect our business and reputation? I contacted my boss and informed him of the situation. He told me to do whatever I could to restore our data and avoid paying the ransom.

The Recovery

Luckily, we had a backup plan. We had invested in a Nimble SAN that took hourly snapshots of our data and stored them in a separate location. The snapshots were not affected by the ransomware and could be used to restore our data. I quickly accessed the SAN and initiated the recovery process. It took some time, but we managed to restore most of our data from the snapshots. We only lost about four hours worth of data, which was a minor setback compared to what could have been.

I was relieved that we had avoided paying the ransom and recovered our data. But I knew that this was not the end of the problem. We still had to find out how the attackers got in, how to prevent this from happening again, and how to improve our security posture.

The Improvement

After the recovery, we conducted a thorough investigation and analysis of the attack. We found out that the attackers had exploited a vulnerability in one of our third-party applications that we had not patched in time. We also discovered that some of our security policies and practices were outdated or inadequate. We realized that we needed to overhaul our security infrastructure and culture.

Fortunately, we had the full support of our management. They understood the gravity of the situation and the importance of security. They gave us an almost blank check for anything security-related. They also gave us the authority and flexibility to implement new systems and concepts.

We took advantage of this opportunity and went on a security spree. We wrote big checks and implemented new solutions such as:

  • A next-generation firewall that provided advanced threat protection and visibility
  • A cloud-based endpoint protection platform that detected and blocked malicious activities on our devices
  • A multi-factor authentication system that added an extra layer of security to our accounts
  • A security awareness training program that educated our employees on best practices and common threats
  • A security incident response plan that defined our roles and responsibilities in case of a breach
  • We also re-architected our network and segmented it into different zones based on the level of sensitivity and risk. We applied the principle of least privilege and enforced strict access controls. We updated our security policies and procedures and made sure they were aligned with the latest standards and regulations.

    The Challenge

    The security improvement project was not easy. It involved a lot of work and stress. We had to deal with many challenges such as:

  • Choosing the right security solutions from the plethora of options and vendors
  • Integrating the new solutions with our existing systems and processes
  • Testing and troubleshooting the new solutions and configurations
  • Training and educating our users and stakeholders on the new solutions and policies
  • Balancing the security needs with the business needs and user experience
  • We spent many late nights deploying new configurations, re-architecting networks, and deciphering marketing buzzwords. We encountered some glitches and hiccups along the way. We had to sleep in our office a few times when things did not go as planned. We sacrificed some of our personal and family time for the sake of the project.

    But we did not give up. We persevered and pushed through. We worked as a team and supported each other. We learned from our mistakes and improved our skills. We communicated and collaborated with our management and users. We delivered the project on time and on budget.

    The Reward

    We expected that our hard work would pay off in terms of security and performance. We expected that our systems would be more secure and resilient. We expected that our users would be more aware and compliant. We expected that our management would be more satisfied and confident.

    But we did not expect that our work would be recognized and appreciated in such a public and generous way.

    At our company all-hands meeting last month, our CEO called each of us out by name and thanked us in front of the entire company for saving their jobs. He praised our skills and dedication and highlighted our achievements. He gave us a standing ovation and asked everyone to join him.

    I was stunned and speechless. I felt a mix of emotions: pride, joy, gratitude, humility. I had never received such recognition and praise for my work in my entire career. I had always assumed that we were toiling in the shadows, unnoticed and unappreciated. I had always accepted that we were a cost center, not a value center.

    But that day, I realized that our work mattered. That our work made a difference. That our work was valued.

    And to top it off, last week my boss dropped something else on my desk: an extra bonus check for $5,000 as a thank-you for the work I had put in.

    I was shocked and delighted. I felt a sense of reward and satisfaction. I felt that I deserved it.

    I thanked my boss and told him that I appreciated it. I told him that I enjoyed working with him and the team. I told him that I loved my job and that I could not imagine doing anything else.

    The Conclusion

    The ransomware attack was a nightmare, but it also turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It gave us a chance to improve our security and prove our worth. It gave us a chance to receive recognition and appreciation for our work. It gave us a chance to feel good about ourselves and our career.

    It was a challenging and rewarding experience that I will never forget. It was a story that I wanted to share with you.

    I hope you enjoyed reading it. I hope you learned something from it. I hope you found it inspiring and motivating.


you for your time and attention.

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