Last week, I had the opportunity to sit in on a meeting of area information technology professionals and experts discussing the problem of ransomware and the best strategies for addressing it. I also participated in a meeting put on by Workforce Connections on apprenticeships.

At first glance, there might seem to be little to connect those two meetings. One deals with a technology crisis that can hit an organization and disrupt the operations and processes of the organization and end up costing a company a significant amount. The other is a way to address workforce issues by developing specialized talent internally.

Ransomware, in case you are unfamiliar, is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Universally, experts agree that the best way to deal with ransomware is to avoid it in the first place. An apprenticeship is an arrangement in which someone learns an art, trade, or job under another who is experienced, often as part of a paid position.

What ties them both together, is they both involve planning and taking steps to head off future problems. Apprenticeship programs are started and maintained to develop the next generation of skilled workers. Ransomware is best dealt with by being avoided. According to some sources, 98% of companies who pay ransomware, never get the codes that remove the offending software. Systems end up needing to be rebuilt and reconstructed.

The point is, whether you are dealing with IT issues, employment or something else completely different, the best solutions often start with anticipating the issues and developing a plan to address it.