Ransomware? It’s all about the downtime.
Date: Mar 22, 2016
With ransomware, it’s not the ransom that’s so damaging to your business.
It’s the downtime.
According to a new survey by Intermedia called the “2016 Crypto-Ransomware Report”, ransomware attacks no longer target just individuals and small firms – they’re also targeting bigger businesses. Almost 60 per cent of businesses targeted by ransomware have more than 100 employees, and 25 per cent have more than 1,000.
And it is costing them dearly.
Employees are often locked out for days on end after an attack, and often the cleanup process causes extensive downtime. In fact, paying the ransom itself was not cited as having the biggest business impact of ransomware attacks. The biggest impacts were the cost of data recovery, lost sales, missed deadlines, disrupted employees and the hassle for IT, plus of course concerns over the breach of sensitive information.
The survey also found that over 60 percent of IT professionals were at least moderately concerned about ransomware attacks on their networks in 2015, but all expect to see an increase in ransomware attacks in 2016.
Plus a surprising 43 percent of those surveyed admitted they have at least one user who has fallen victim to a ransomware attack.
It’s now imperative that all organisations roll-out Security Awareness Training and send simulated phishing tests to all employees, so they are informed and vigilant.
“Ransomware attacks are becoming more frequent due to the increasing processing powers of computers – which allows criminals to encrypt files in only a few hours – and the rise of anonymous payment systems such as the untraceable Bitcoin,” said Ryan Barrett, vice president of security and privacy at Intermedia.
To Pay Or Not To Pay
“When clients choose to pay the ransom, it’s likely because the files are confidential and crucial to the business, and because they don’t have the proper business continuity tools in place,” Barrett said in the report. “Downtime is a huge threat to businesses of all sizes, and when a business continuity plan is not in place, businesses are often desperate to get back up and running as fast as possible. … Businesses also must understand that paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee they’ll get their files back.”
Having secure backups is crucial, but preventing the downtime by having security awareness trained employees is much more cost effective.
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