The Effect of Ransomware Threat on Business
Ransomware has raised rapidly in the past few years. This malware now targets businesses more and more. Spywares, trojans and viruses are some of the most common types of threats that business systems come across. However, ransomware has been rising a lot since 2013.
Ransomware is gaining popularity because it is one of the easiest methods to extort business. During the ransomware attack like Phobos virus, the criminal locks some of the essential files of the business owner. To gain back access for those files, the business owner has to pay the desired amount to the cybercriminal; only then the files can be accessible again.
Majority of the systems in the business world are now digital. As the world is modernising with time, everybody relies on computer systems and technology to store and backup crucial data. This is the major reason why cybersecurity is now a huge concern among business owners. Every industry knows and understands the need for cybersecurity.
Businesses are an ideal target for cybercriminals as they have extremely crucial and high potential data in their systems. Thus, the business owners are willing to pay any amount to gain access back to the data. Small and medium-sized businesses are at high risk as they are unable to utilize high-end software and systems to secure their data and keep it safe. Stats show that 67% of ransomware attacks are performed against medium and small-sized businesses. It is not wrong to say that we live in a time of ransomware epidemic. The sudden and constant rise in cybercrime is alarming, and therefore, the need for good and efficient cybersecurity is vital.
What happens during the ransomware attack?
Business owners who have gone through a ransomware attack before, know how this can affect their day to day operations. A huge loss is caused due to these attacks, and the activity is hindered till the cybercriminal unlocks the files that he has targeted.
To begin with, if you don’t detect the attack or make no attempt to stop it, your files get encrypted. The cybercriminal holds those files until the ransom amount is paid. Also, the standard or minimum pay rate that the attackers ask for is $1000 these days. If the attackers are pro at what they do, they can demand a lot of money too. Therefore, be ready to pay any amount to cybercriminals to gain access to your data.
Also, you need to understand that if one computer in your office is infected with the ransom, it can spread like fire. It can easily affect almost all the computers in your office within no time. Thus, it can cause a permanent halt of operations, until the ransom is paid. Some cybercriminals infect the server and demand a very high amount of money as well. It is not recommended that the victim pay the ransom as this motivate hackers to infect other companies.
You must know that the longer you take to pay the amount, the more it increases. It all depends on cybercriminals. And, in the end, if you don’t pay the money, your data is lost forever.
A business owner knows the importance of the data that they have stored in their systems and would never want it to be lost.
Is it Important to pay the ransom?
There is a lot of confusion with these attacks. A ransom attack done on small business costs you around $8000 per hour or even more. If you don’t pay it on time, it will keep increasing with time, on per hour basis. On the contrary, you never know whether the cybercriminals will give you access to your files or not. There is no guarantee in this case. Around 50% of people pay the ransom but 1 out of each group of 4 people, don’t get their data back. This is very alarming and is the major reason why people try their best to get their data back, without paying the ransom.
In some cases, it does work, and people can hire professionals to get rid of the virus and decrypt files. However, in other cases, nothing happens, and the only way out is to pay the ransom and see what happens next. Still, most experts do not recommend paying the ransom.
Can you prevent a ransomware attack?
Yes, there are several ways to prevent your business from a large loss. The effects of ransomware are mind-boggling and can bring a huge amount of loss to the business. Therefore, the very least that you can do to prevent your business from ransomware threat is:
- Backup is very important. It is best that you have multiple backups of your data. Never rely on a single backup only. It is not going to help. Have a backup at a system that is at your personal space, one in office and one somewhere else.
- Keep your antimalware solutions and antivirus systems up to date. If they are not updated for weeks; do that now! Don’t be lazy about it, as it can cost you a lot more than you can imagine.
- Have a good disaster recovery plan with you. There are many software and websites that offer you recovery solutions, having one at your right-hand access is going to make things easier. This ensures smart cybersecurity and is mostly seen in large businesses.
- Also, educate your employees about malware and how they can be identified. Keep a workshop for them and train them to report any suspicious activity so that the business can be saved from a larger loss. You can collaborate with a good cybersecurity company to train your employees to pick symptoms for ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks are now extremely common and are hard to deal with. Once your system is attacked by one, you will realize that tit is very tough to handle such attacks.
However, you are capable of controlling the situation and taking precautionary measures to keep your business running efficiently. Make sure that you invest in a good cybersecurity system and have multiple backups of your data. It is better to be safe than sorry. With everything relying on technology, cybersecurity is now essential for all businesses, whether small or big.