Ransomware might not command the media attention it once did, but that’s not because it’s gotten any less dangerous or expensive.  While it’s old news to much of the media, every day it becomes big news to thousands of small business owners.

Ransomware Payment Doubles

The financial threat is also escalating rapidly.  Ransomware costs doubled between Q3 2019 and Q4 2019, according to ransomware response firm Coveware.  While some of the cost increase can be attributed to growing attacks at large corporations, the rapid escalation in cost was also due to the growth of data release extortion.

To mitigate the threat posed by ransomware attacks (and other disasters) many companies back up data to an offsite location using a service such as Datto.  If these companies have their data encrypted and held ransom, these services allow companies to restore most of their encrypted data, losing only the most recent hours or few days of data.  Faced with a significant financial demand, many companies choose to restore backup data rather than pay the ransom.

Ransomware vendors have found a response to this.  To increase the threat, ransomware attackers have begun to threaten the public release of the stolen data if the ransom isn’t paid.  They understand the threat posed to businesses by the release of customer and employee data, so if any of this is located on the network, they can adjust the ransom accordingly higher.

Backups are still a critical piece of ransomware defense.  The growing threat of data release has made it more important than ever, however, that these perpetrators are prevented from getting into a business network in the first place.  This is about much more than technology; an educated workforce can help prevent ransomware and other social engineering attacks better than any firewall.  If you aren’t using a service like KnowBe4 or PhishLabs, it’s a great time to start.

To learn how WingSwept can help your business make better usage of technology, call us at 919-460-7011 or email us at Team_WingSwept@WingSwept.com.