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One of the biggest issues plaguing businesses at the moment is the threat of ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware that installs on to your device and essentially takes it over. It encrypts your data, removing your access so that your business grinds to a halt. You then receive a message demanding a fee for the data to be decrypted, sometimes even with a countdown to add more pressure, suggesting that the files will be deleted forever if the ransom is not paid within 24 hours.
Ransomware as a Service
The number of ransomware attacks has been growing rapidly since 2015. In 2016, the occurrence of ransomware attacks nearly doubled, showing a 172% increase in the first half of 2016 compared to the whole of 2015. One of the reasons for this growth is the emergence of ‘ransomware as a service’ or RaaS.
RaaS is where anyone is able to cause a ransomware attack by being given access to the tools that allow you to do so with little technical knowledge. The individuals involved in this only have to download the virus, either for free or a small fee, and then set the ransom fee they would like and the deadline. The only thing left to do then is attempt to trick a person to download the malware. If a victim pays the ransom then the person who sent it will get a cut and the rest will be sent to the ‘service provider.’ It’s never been more easy to become a cybercriminal.
How Ransomware Can Affect Your Business: The Statistics
Only 4% of businesses have stated that they are confident that they can deal with a ransomware attack, by deduction it can be assumed that 96% of businesses are not confident. In fact, 76% of UK adults do not even know what ransomware is let alone how to deal with the problem.
54% of UK businesses have been victims of ransomware attacks, with 58% of those businesses paying the ransom. 60% of the attacks ask for more than $1000 and 20% ask for more than $10,000.
Paying the ransom is the first of the issues that this kind of attack can bring to your businesses. 63% of those attacked experienced downtime that had a significant impact on their business, affecting how they operate and causing issues with clients. 34% have lost revenue due to the issues cause by the downtime. Of course, there is also the issue of what happens if you do not pay the fine. 34% of those businesses attacked have not been able to recover their data and have lost files that are necessary to the operation of their business.
The Aftermath of a Ransomware Attack
It’s very easy to think that once a cyber security issue has been overcome your problems are over. This is no longer the case. Due to legislation coming into place in 2018, businesses will soon be experiencing fines of 4% of their turnover from the Information Commissioner’s Office if they experience a data breach.
You are now also obligated to inform individuals if their data has been breached. If a client’s data is subject to a ransomware attack through your systems then you will need to inform your client that their data has been put at risk.
How to Prepare for a Ransomware Attack
The best way to prepare against a ransomware attack is to make sure that you have an appropriate back up and disaster recovery plan in place to make sure that you are able to recover your files if they become encrypted. A disaster recovery plan is your last line of defence when everything has gone wrong.
If you are concerned about your disaster recovery plan and want to know more about how you can prepare for ransomware please contact ACUTEC today for 01675 469020 to gain peace of mind.
We have received a few emails masquerading as Apple. In the case below it says that the Apple ID has been frozen and information needs verifying. You need to think when you receive an email like this from certain providers. Is your work email address linked to an Apple account? Is it linked to Amazon? If not then the likelihood is that you have received a fraudulent email and you can just hit delete straight away.