Over the last three years, ransomware has ranked among the fastest-growing security issues for companies across the globe. The cybercriminal underworld operates like a well-organized big business. These cyber-criminal cabals continually change and adapt to the security industry while seeking new ways to place companies like yours under threat. A successful ransomware attack will almost always have expensive implications.
The presence of these threats is becoming more prevalent among smaller companies as they find themselves increasingly challenged to recover from complex attacks. In this brief ransomware recovery guide, we’ll take a look at what makes businesses susceptible to ransomware attacks and how to manage this new proliferation of cyber threats.
About Ransomware Attacks
Companies that endure a significant data breach face prolonged system and employee downtime, expensive migration costs, and a potentially permanent loss of their critical data. Likewise, businesses forced to disclose the breach to their customers often face considerable damage to their brand reputation and even extensive litigation. Today’s threat environment requires an immutable cybersecurity strategy to get your business back up and running immediately after an incident.
Too many companies remain overly confident about their cybersecurity postures because they’ve managed to beat the odds of a successful attack thus far. For organizations like this, it is only a matter of time before they find their systems compromised by a ransomware attack. The threat is often difficult to detect at first, with the early signs being lag times and odd drops in file associations. Of course, these symptoms are commonly mistaken for a simple glitch or failing piece of hardware.
Once your IT department finally notifies you of a breach, this is when you start to put the pieces together. At this point, it could be too late if significant damage to your IT infrastructure and digital environment has already been done. Discovering that you’ve been infected with ransomware is never pleasant, and the incidents are far too common as the attacks become more widespread. Last year alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime and Complaint Center received 3,729 ransomware complaints, while a significantly greater number of incidents are estimated to fall unreported.
Analysts predict that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every other second by 2031. This figure is far more significant than every 11 seconds last year and every 14 seconds in 2019. To provide a sense of just how much the incidence rate of these threats has increased, ransomware attacks took place once every 40 seconds in 2016, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. The global pandemic beginning in 2020 only exacerbated the issue, with so many more workers telecommuting from less than secure endpoints.
How will a ransomware attack impact your business?
Industry experts anticipate ransomware attacks to continue to rise exponentially, and the overall financial impact on companies will be immense. When a criminal hacker successfully attacks your corporate network, it encrypts your sensitive business data. The loss of this information might cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more after factoring in migration, recovery, and potential litigation fees.
Recent reports show that the total costs of ransomware attacks skyrocketed to nearly $20 billion in 2021. As high as that number is, cybersecurity experts expect this figure to balloon to over $250 billion over the next decade. Ransomware attacks are, indeed, reaching unprecedented new heights. One company recently paid out a historic $40 million in exchange for their decrypted data.
While ransom payments have displayed a slight decline in recent months, the average payout is still close to its all-time high at nearly $137,000 over Q2 of 2021. The decrease in overall payouts is attributable to increased pressure from law enforcement agencies that have started to crack down on investigating and prosecuting cyber crimes. This additional attention hasn’t decreased ransomware attacks, and many indicators show that ransom payments are likely to increase over the rest of the year.
Ransomware impacts every industry across all economic sectors, from governments and energy to healthcare and higher education. A recent wave of well-publicized attacks has been targeting the public sector. As a result, local governments have started to introduce legislation that bans the use of tax dollars for ransom payments in an effort to mitigate the problem. Criminal hackers, in turn, have begun focusing their scope on smaller businesses in ever-increasing numbers.
What is the best way to ensure your company remains ransomware resilient?
The surest way to protect your company against ransomware threats and recover quickly after an attack is by evaluating and understanding your existing vulnerabilities. Consider consulting with a third-party cybersecurity expert like PCH Technologies. We can supply you with a comprehensive analysis of your infrastructure and digital environment. Our team of expert technicians will tell you where you are most susceptible to ransomware before providing you with several reliable solutions for data offsite data storage and backups along with a proven strategy for preventing the latest attacks.
We’ll work closely alongside your internal IT department and business teams to develop a bulletproof disaster recovery plan that defines both your recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). Drafting dependable backup and disaster recovery plans that outline your specific response actions and team member responsibilities is crucial to restoring your operations swiftly after a ransomware attack.
PCH Technologies offers the latest Cloud Data Management solutions appropriate to your industry. Cloud storage services are an invaluable tool that can help you cut costs and expedite your recovery time after a ransomware attack. We also can test your data recovery plan routinely to ensure that it hasn’t become susceptible to new vulnerabilities.
How to ensure a rapid recovery
If reliable ransomware protection measures and solutions seem to be evading your existing IT team, reach out to PCH Technologies today. Schedule your free discovery call online now or dial (856) 754-7500 to discuss your options for a comprehensive cyber risk assessment.