According to a VMware Carbon Black analysis, the number of ransomware attacks has risen by 148% since the outbreak of the pandemic began. According to the National Security Institute, ransom costs have increased from $5,000 in 2018 to $200,000 by 2020. Remote employment and the COVID pandemic have led to this rise, but it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon.

With this threat looming much larger than ever before, it’s important to be educated. What is ransomware, how does it impact an organization, and what can business owners do to stay safe? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

Ransomware definition

Ransomware is a type of virus aimed to restrict a user or institution’s access to data on their computer in exchange for payment. Cybercriminals put enterprises in a situation where paying a ransom for the decryption key is the most convenient and least expensive option to recover access to records. After a successful attack, your computers may become infected with different viruses. When a cybercriminal uses ransomware to prevent traffic from reaching their data or system, it is an example of malware. Data might be encrypted or deleted at the threat of the hacker. There is no guarantee that the content will be recovered, the information will be delivered in the same state, or the hacker will not duplicate the data. In the first ransomware strike, your system may have been infected with several types of malware that can be utilized in future attempts.

If critical and confidential information is being held hostage, many companies have no choice but to pay. Fraudsters have discovered that it is much easier to break into a firm’s current system, keep it ransom, and demand payment rather than hacking into the company’s bank account.

Impact

Businesses of all sizes can be crippled by ransomware as not only is valuable information stolen, but the entire operation is virtually halted. Victims could lose a lot of money due to this downtime and potential damage. The reputation of an organization might be damaged in addition to its financial losses.

As a result of a successful cyberattack, your organization’s data may be held hostage and destroyed, or your clients’ private information may be leaked to the public. As a small business owner, you may not have the resources to deal with fines and downtime from a data breach. As a result, finding a managed service provider (MSP) who can consistently deliver high-quality service is more important than ever before if you want to focus on running your business as usual.

Prevention

In addition to safeguarding your network infrastructure from external attacks, it’s necessary to keep an eye out for internal risks. To keep your system safe, you need to ensure your employees are adequately trained and adhere to best practices. This problem might be alleviated by performing regular data backups and storing a minimal amount of vital data offsite.

Using an MSP, businesses can focus on increasing productivity and building their company instead of dealing with security concerns and protecting data. An MSP can create a customized security solution to protect your information and keep the company running smoothly. On-demand computer support and expert services may save your firm money and time through a managed security solution.

Bottom Line

Cyber security is necessary if your company takes credit cards or stores customer data and sensitive information. Robust information security procedures are needed to protect your firm from potential responsibility under HIPAA, SOX, PCI, and other regulations. You’ll need a group of cyber security experts to help you comply with the rules and keep your data safe from ransomware.