Fight the Enemy Where They Aren’t

Why Disaster Recovery systems are vital to countering ransomware threats.

Suffering a ransomware attack is a costly proposition for every modern organization. There are various cyber-security threats that companies must counter on a daily basis, from phishing and denial-of-service attacks to zero-day exploits and simple human error. But of all the threats lurking in today’s digital world, ransomware is by far the most menacing, a profitable “mechanism of chaos” for hackers and cybercriminals.

A perfect example of the destructive and pervasive nature of ransomware attacks occurred in May 2017. In just one day, the infamous WannaCry attacks infected more than 230,000 computers in 150+ countries. In the aftermath, even though organizations quickly employed reactive countermeasures such as decryptors, the threat persisted and still shows no signs of diminishing, especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), who are perfect targets due to:

  • Single, flat environments. When using plug-and-play equipment and default settings, malefactors can easily penetrate predictable setups.
  • Insufficient security protocols. Every organization should have a set of documented, unique security rules and procedures based upon application needs and industry compliance requirements.
  • Budgetary constraints. While neither glamorous nor revenue-generating, assessing network vulnerabilities and budgeting for adequate security measures is vital to maintaining mission-critical data systems.
  • Lack of knowledgeable internal IT staff with security expertise. Most small businesses have a bare-bones IT department whose knowledge is limited to their background and experience level. Outsourcing security programs to a team of experienced engineers, skilled in every aspect of network development (SQL, networking, security, etc.), yields effective systems and peace of mind.

Big bucks at risk

It is readily apparent that companies must proactively move to minimize risks. But which risks should you address? With the threat of ransomware attacks persisting and financial/prestige implications consistently rising, many organizations choose to spend budget allocations on cybersecurity software for protection. Certainly, you want to build a digital shield to protect your systems; however, it is crucial to note that it is virtually impossible to stop every attack, especially for large businesses with complex infrastructures and ever-changing employee pools.

We recommend to clients that, rather than putting all their faith (and money) into preventative measures, they also focus on resiliency and recovery systems for quick and accurate rebounds in the event of an attack. The key questions that CIOs/CSOs/CTOs must ask themselves:

  • Have we recognized the need for HA/DR systems?
  • Do we have an emergency plan in place for when systems are compromised?
  • Do we have adequate backup systems that ensure data fidelity?
  • What do we consider acceptable recovery times for restoring data after a breach?

The need for speed

Despite the obvious threats to corporate data that we see in the news on a weekly basis, internal research conducted by George Jon discovered that 56% of organizations do not have a disaster recovery plan in place should they fall victim to a cyber-attack. In addition, only one in four (26%) IT decision-makers feel extremely confident in their organization’s ability to recover data in time to avoid business disruption. These figures illustrate how unprepared most large businesses are for dealing with threats to data systems.

Traditional security efforts concentrate on endpoint protection and employee training, educating staff on how to avoid ransomware traps. While these are positive measures that provide a layer of protection, they are not fail-safe, and ultimately the impact of an attack is determined by the company’s ability to recover stolen/encrypted data as quickly as possible to avoid disruption, downtime, and reputational damage. Thus, it is vital that businesses have infrastructure in place to restore business-critical data and maintain continuity of operations when proactive measures fail, quickly and confidently.

George Jon’s expert team of information security engineers, with 15+ years of real-world experience, prioritizes backup and disaster recovery solutions ahead of application plans. Simply put, we ensure that every organization has a recovery time that exceeds expectations and guarantees business continuity. We focus on component-specific backup solutions, including SQL environments, general server infrastructures, and application-specific components.

Learn more!

If you found this information helpful and would like to tap into George Jon’s wealth of knowledge and experience, please contact us for a consultation. Our Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) are standing by, and we welcome the opportunity to optimize your environment’s security capabilities and performance.

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Amy Meija


Amy Meija has spent her career enhancing people operations and leading strategic HR initiatives for growing companies across a wide range of industries. She develops and evolves GeorgeJon’s HR processes and programs on a daily basis, including talent management and development, employee engagement, compensation/benefits, and much more. She is perpetually focused on helping GeorgeJon achieve ever-evolving goals by optimizing company-wide productivity and satisfaction.

Amy holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Northeastern Illinois University, a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) Certification from the HR Certification Institute, and is a Society for HR Management (SHRM) Certified Professional (CP). She is a Chicago native and mother of two young boys.

Kaya Kowalczyk


Kaya drives GeorgeJon’s marketing strategies and initiatives. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of marketing, branding, and communications to enhance the company’s visibility, attract target audiences, and support business growth. Works closely with the executive team and collaborates with cross-functional departments to achieve marketing goals and ensure alignment with the company’s overall objectives.

During Kaya’s 18 years at GeorgeJon, she has excelled at myriad technical and business roles, developing a comprehensive understanding of GJ’s operating model while implementing programs that nurture the sustainable growth and healthy maturation of the organization. 

Reynolds Broker


Reynolds is the primary advisor, spokesperson, and tactical right hand for the Executive Team (Founder, COO, CTO). As an innovative strategist, consultant, and implementer, he spearheads the successful execution of mission-critical projects and strategic initiatives across the organization, specializing in organizational alignment, business operations governance, and marketing/communications management. His diverse professional and educational experience is rooted in the technology, corporate finance, and government affairs sectors.

Reynolds holds an International MBA in Corporate Finance and Spanish from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the University of Georgia.

Darrin Hernandez, CPA


Darrin Hernandez is the Vice President of Finance for GeorgeJon, responsible for ensuring corporate financial vitality, including accounting strategy, cash flow, reporting, forecasting, budgeting, and legal/insurance/tax compliance. Possessing a unique background that meshes accounting & finance expertise and executive management with emerging technology initiatives, Darrin is uniquely qualified to bring stability and foresight to GeorgeJon’s financial endeavors.

Over the course of his twenty-year career in corporate finance and accounting, Darrin has established himself as an authority in tech-enabled services and SaaS businesses. Prior experience in the cyber-security, bookings management as an online marketplace, and digital transformation consulting spaces provided invaluable insights for anticipating and adjusting to the ever-changing landscape that permeates the tech industry. Being nimble, adaptable, and prepared is necessary to deliver stability for fast-growing companies, and Darrin is the man with the plan.

Darrin has a B.S. in Accounting from Northern Illinois University and is a Certified Public Accountant. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two kids.

Allison Jessee


Allison Jessee is Vice President, Customer Success, for GeorgeJon. With 20+ years of real-world experience in the tech sector and customer management, she is a seasoned leader tasked with pushing GeorgeJon’s industry-leading service team to new heights.

Allison establishes and implements the strategic plan for customer success at GeorgeJon, working with the Leadership and CS teams to set and manage standards for service excellence, client communications, and strategic goals. A proven leader and tech expert, her skillset enables vibrant customer and internal relationships, strategic and operational roadmap building, and a deep understanding of client needs and the procurement process.

Allison has held multiple executive roles in the tech realm. She supported strategic objectives surrounding technology integrations for major partners at AT&T. At UPSTACK and HBR Consulting, she built and led teams focused on cultivating and maintaining strong customer relationships in support of infrastructure, network, and cloud technologies.

Ryan Merholz


Ryan Merholz is the Vice President of Engineering at GeorgeJon. An experienced eDiscovery industry veteran, Ryan oversees our support, professional services, and security programs to ensure world-class customer experiences for our global client base.

Ryan’s service acumen and technical expertise was honed over 15+ years in the eDiscovery realm at Relativity, where he built and led customer support/success, program management and consulting teams. He led the transition of Relativity’s support organization to the cloud and evolved their approach to customer success management for service providers. He is also a passionate advocate for workplace inclusion, diversity and belonging.

Ryan has a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ohio Northern University and lives in the Chicago suburbs with his family. When not working, Ryan enjoys going to the theater, trying new restaurants, and walking his dogs.

Tom Matarelli


Tom Matarelli is the Chief Sales Officer at GeorgeJon. A proven eDiscovery innovator, thought leader, and community contributor, Tom’s leadership skills, global perspective and technical expertise provide deep knowledge to our global customer base. He brings 15+ years of experience in Governance Risk Compliance and Legal Technology to the GJ Leadership Team. 

Tom has held leadership roles at multiple eDiscovery technology providers, including Relativity, Vertical Discovery / Ligl, and Reveal. Starting his career as a CPA, Tom quickly moved into forensic accounting and investigations, eventually focusing on forensic technology for eDiscovery. He migrated this knowledge base to the software market, joining Relativity to build and lead their global advisory practice. He has helped law firms and corporations adopt AI-based workflows for eDiscovery, investigations, audits, and corporate compliance.

Tom holds a BA in Accounting and Marketing from Western Illinois University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He is active in the local community, mentoring Chicago Public School students and coaching little league baseball.

George Orr


George Orr is a transformational leader who informs and drives the day-to-day operations of GeorgeJon. Working in close partnership with George Nedwick, CEO, he strategizes and implements both daily and long-term initiatives for the business.

Orr held multiple executive roles at Relativity, leading customer teams focused on support, professional services, customer success, and the growth of the certified professional community throughout his tenure. Orr was an original member of the Relativity “go-to-market team” in 2007, and helped grow the company in revenue and employees (5-1500). Orr brings his operational expertise and understanding of the eDiscovery customer landscape to the GeorgeJon team.

When not in the office, George can usually be found at a Pearl Jam concert or taking on new adventures with his family.

George Nedwick


George Nedwick is the founder, owner, and principal architect of GeorgeJon (GJ). Under George’s leadership, the company has grown from an IT startup to an internationally acclaimed industry leader serving a global client base.

George is a world-class systems architect who has spent fifteen years perfecting a performant, scalable, modular eDiscovery framework that can be replicated and managed on a universal scale. Recognizing a deficiency in technical expertise, storage capabilities, and cost-effective oversight within the eDiscovery industry, George methodically built a team to address this challenge. This includes forging partnerships with hardware manufacturers (Dell), software providers, and leading industry software providers to develop best practice methodologies for optimized infrastructure, specifically designed to meet the demanding needs of eDiscovery users.

George has developed clients in multiple vertical markets, including multinational corporations, leading law firms, government agencies, consulting firms, and premium service providers. He has proven expertise in working with sensitive/classified data and is well versed in navigating complex international data export laws. George has also moved the firm into creation and delivery of proprietary hardware, specifically monitoring appliances that can be placed at client sites to allow for remote access and 24/7 monitoring of all infrastructure components.