SMBs Face Serious Ransomware Damages

On average, a single crypto-malware attack may cost small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) up to $99,000.

Kaspersky Lab’s 2016 Corporate IT Security Risks survey found that more than half (67%) of SMBs reported complete or partial loss of corporate data due to this type of ransomware. To go along with that, about 42% of SMBs say they consider crypto-malware to be one of the most serious threats that their organization could face.

The bad actors appear to be succeeding somewhat in their extortion attempts: 34% of respondents admit to paying extortionists the ransom to get their critical business data back during an attack, even though getting the data back isn’t a “sure thing.”

"As we can see, almost one-third of SMBs still believe that paying the ransom is the most cost-effective way of getting their data back,” said Vladimir Zapolyansky, head of SMB marketing at Kaspersky Lab. “The reality, however, is that the total damage for companies ends up being much greater, and there is still no guarantee of recovering the corporate data in question. As criminals increase their efforts to make money by using crypto-malware, small and medium businesses should take preventative measures to minimize the risk of becoming yet another victim. In order to improve the efficiency of their protection against cyber-threats, we advise SMBs to use dedicated solutions and the advanced technologies.”

Kaspersky pointed out that the total amount of damage caused by a crypto-malware attack can be divided into two parts: the ransom and the related losses. The amount of related damage is, to a large extent, affected by shortcomings in the preventive work of the IT staff (poorly administered systems, outdated or missing backups, unreliable passwords, irregularly updated software, etc.). In fact, one in five cases related to significant data loss occurs due to carelessness or unawareness of the employees.

Further, the damage caused by this type of ransomware infection is a combination of a variety of factors: Partial or complete suspension of operations (internal business processes, financial transactions, etc.); the loss of valuable data (financial and project documents, customer or partner databases, etc.); and reputational risks.

If a business has been infected with cryptomalware and the data has been encrypted, Kaspersky Lab experts recommend to check whether this data can be restored with the help of free utilities or decryption keys provided on noransom.kaspersky.com.

Photo © Sangoiri

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