Don’t let your small or medium business fall victim to ransomware. Make sure your data, network, equipment, and employees are safe from ransomware attacks.
Watch our video below to learn all about ransomware and please feel free to share with your staff and social media networks.
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. You may have heard about ransomware attacks on school districts, hospitals, and government organizations. Over 20 U.S. cities were targeted by ransomware attacks between January and July 2019. The cost to the city of Baltimore alone was more than $18 million between lost city revenue and repairs to the city’s computer network. Ransomware attacks on cities, schools, and hospitals are serious, but 71 percent of ransomware attacks target small and medium businesses.
According to Beazley Breach Response Services, in 2018, ransomware crooks demanded an average of more than $116,000 from over 3,300 business computer security breaches they directly tracked. Cybersecurity firm Coveware reported that the average ransomware demand to individuals and small businesses grew from $6,733 at the end of 2018 to over $12,760 in the first quarter of 2019.
In the past, ransomware usually came in the form of unsophisticated “spam” emails that most people could recognize as hacking attacks. Hackers sent out hundreds of thousands of emails hoping to trick a few unsuspecting people into revealing their passwords and other secure information. Once installed on a business or individual computer, ransomware encrypts data and stops access to programs. The program then demands a “ransom” in the form of cryptocurrency, usually bitcoin, to restore the data and access.
Ransomware attacks are getting more sophisticated. A 2018 ransomware program, Ryuk, was developed by a North Korean group of hackers. Ryuk has been aimed at large businesses that can’t afford any downtime. The program individually maps the networks of target businesses and steals credentials in order to install the program and encryption. One business targeted by Ryuk paid over $360,000 in bitcoin to retrieve its data.
Ransomware is getting better at getting around anti-virus programs and computer firewalls. Hackers are using known applications and programs that users think are safe to get around security precautions. Expert estimates report that ransomware could cost small and medium businesses as much as $11 billion in 2020.
Managed services providers (MSPs) are responsible for keeping track of ransomware threats and understanding the tricks hackers can use to take control of your computers and demand a ransom. They can help your business to prevent a ransomware attack and protect your business data and programs in the event an attack occurs. Malicious hackers have been causing damage to computers for years, but ransomware is the first major way they’ve discovered to earn a lot of money from their criminal activities. Don’t let ransomware interfere with your business operations, profits, and growth. Take our recommended steps to fight back and win against ransomware criminals.