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Ransomware Attacks

With the Increase in Ransomware Attacks: Is Your Business Protected?

Lesetja Malope

Lesetja Malope

17 August 20233 min read

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Ransomware attacks

One of the necessities of modern-day business is an online presence, which often means having a website. There are many benefits to an online presence, which can all be enjoyed at a relatively low cost.

Naturally, with the rise of an online presence comes risks, especially in the form of cybercrimes.

Cybercrimes target almost every piece of information that can be taken from the business; this includes sensitive information such as:

  1. Confidential business data such as trade secrets, 
  2. Personal data breach, 
  3. Trademark information, 
  4. Copyrights, 
  5. Any other intellectual property and confidential information and plans.

The dangers of ransomware

At the top of the list of cyber threats is ransomware. This is the most prevalent form of cybercrime for entrepreneurs. 

But what is ransomware?

Such attacks are caused by malicious software that locks a computer system. It may also prevent users from accessing their data until the victim pays a ransom.

worldwide survey among information technology (IT) professionals found that a growing number of small businesses are being hit by ransomware attacks annually, and an ever-increasing number are paying the ransom.

According to Cybersecurity Ventures' latest Cyberthreats Semester Report, the rise of cybercrimes has now spread to all types and sizes of businesses online (including, potentially, your small business) instead of previously only targeting big corporations.

The report pointed out that there has been a growing trend of malware attacks over the last year. And it's primarily been new attacks using older but sophisticated techniques.

It also stated that global ransomware damage costs will exceed $265 billion by 2031.

Unfortunately, these cybercrimes affect all types of businesses. However, specific industries are affected more than others. For example, the latest industries to fall victim are the healthcare and education industries.

Common ransomware attacks on hospitals and healthcare providers increased significantly in recent years. While in the education sector, attacks on universities and schools have also almost doubled.

According to research by Reliaquest, ransomware has democratized data theft. This is because targeted data only needs to have enough value to the victims.

This tactic has, unfortunately, become largely successful so far.

The report also showed that 88% of ransomware attacks attempted to infect backup repositories. And it found that 47% of data was encrypted in a ransomware attack. 

In comparison, 29% of organizations who paid the ransom still could not recover their data despite increased investment in defensive security technologies.

How you can protect your business

The obvious growing threats to businesses have necessitated the need for cybersecurity measures.

Here are the security measures we suggest to protect your business from ransomware threats:

  1. Regularly updating security software: regular updates can patch security flaws and prevent attacks. Some antivirus programs also offer ransomware-specific IT security. This includes behavior-based analysis and real-time monitoring.
  2. Multifactor authentication (MFA): businesses can add a layer of protection by implementing this. These can strengthen security by requiring an additional login step.  
  3. Backing up data: backups of critical data can prevent businesses from losing information during an attack. These backups can be kept offline or at a secure remote server and accessed if needed.
  4. Training of employees: educated employees can help identify threats and prevent ransomware attacks.
  5. Develop an Incident Response Plan: this can help businesses respond quickly and effectively to attacks. The plan should include:
    (1) isolating infected systems
    (2) notifying relevant parties
    (3) and deciding whether to pay the ransom or attempt to recover data through other means

Keeping your business secure in every way has never been more critical.


FAQs

How will a ransomware attack affect your business?

Ransomware attacks can be costly in more than one way. Even if you handle a ransomware threat well, your employees and customers will lose trust in your business. After all, they don't want to put themselves at risk.

Can a company recover from a ransomware attack?

Yes, a company can recover from these types of cybersecurity threats. However, the average recovery time after a ransomware attack is 22 days. However, it may also take up to a few months.

How do companies protect themselves from ransomware?

Companies can protect themselves from ransomware by implementing more than one security measure. For example, they could implement anti-malware software, cloud data protection, and antivirus software.

Do companies actually pay ransomware?

Companies may not admit it, but they commonly pay the ransom demanded to get their assets back. Although, some may consider it a security loss and leave it at that, because they can't even guarantee that the hacker will be faithful in the deal.

What is the average ransomware payout?

You'd be surprised to learn that the average ransomware payout is millions of dollars. Globally speaking, the average ransomware payment is $1.5 million.

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