What is bitcoin and why would I need it?

Image by Michael Giuffrida about FinanceWith all of the cyber attacks in the news lately, you have likely heard about bitcoin.  Unless you are in the technology space, this might sound like something from a movie plot but believe it or not it is a valid form of currency around the world.

Bitcoin is an electronic currency that was created in 2009 in an effort to create a currency that was not manipulated by politics or other regulated economic events by having distributed control of the currency.  It is “buried” in computers around the world and can be “mined” by computer users who are willing to utilize their computer processing cycles to try to find it.  Bitcoin can also be purchased currently at the rate of almost $4,000 per bitcoin through legitimate channels.

One of the interesting characteristics of bitcoin is that it is virtually untraceable.  Because of this, it is often used in crimes such as ransomware attacks.  When a cyber criminal locks up your data files, they ask to be paid in bitcoin to unlock them.  The challenge is, bitcoin is not that easy to get.  While it is publicly accessible, you need to find a place to buy it, setup an account, fund it with US Dollars, and then wait for it to be converted to bitcoin.  This can take anywhere from a week to 10 days.  If your business is down during this entire period, it could be devastating and potentially cause you to lose your business completely.  This is just another reason to have a solid data security strategy that would allow you to retrieve your data without paying the ransom.

Your data is one of the single largest assets your organization  has.  You need to be prepared for these types of situations because with the increase in cyber attacks it is likely you will be hit at some point and paying ransom in bitcoin is not a viable solution.

Michael Giuffrida from Southington CT has been operating businesses since 1997.  He is an experienced entrepreneur in business management, profitable growth, business valuation, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology managed services.

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