As ransomware attacks rise, more companies are starting to proactively protect their data. However, it’s still not a priority for all businesses. Before revealing the 6 shocking ransomware facts (and horrifying ransomware stories), let’s review its definition and how you can prevent it from affecting your business.
Ransomware is a form of blackmail. It’s when a hacker gets you to click on a link that installs a form of malware or virus into your system. It usually encrypts your data and prevents you from accessing your own business’ systems and data. The only way to regain access is to pay the hacker their desired sum. Many times, the cost it takes to get back to “business as usual” is beyond what small companies can afford, and it can be extremely stressful on the survival of larger companies as well.
Several businesses don’t take ransomware seriously and do not prioritize securing their data. They think it can’t possibly happen to them. What are the chances!? However, consider the fact that there is a hacker attack every 39 seconds. According to Cybint, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. And, since COVID-19 began, cybercrime increased by 300%.
The solution is to protect your data. There are many ways to prevent hackers from getting in your systems, like training employees on how to spot a phishing email, or setting up additional firewalls. However, we focus on protecting your data with disaster recovery. In short, disaster recovery is backing up your data and ensuring business continuity. That way, in the chance a hacker does get through your firewalls or passed a tired employee, you never need to succumb to hackers and your business can continue to run smoothly.
Now Let’s dive into the 6 shocking ransomware facts and then3 horrifying ransomware stories.
Overall, ransomware attacks are rising, companies aren’t being proactive, Windows-based computers are the most common victims and the biggest costs associated with ransomware is not the ransom, it’s disaster recovery and system downtime. At Assurance IT, we have backed up hundreds of terabytes of data to protect our customers from ever dealing with hackers. If you want to start protecting your company, contact us here.
Dementtook a hit of up to $95 million after a ransomware attack. The losseswere primarily lost income, inability to fulfill orders and inability to accesstheir systems. The attack was so severe it took them 4 weeks to get back intobusiness. During that time, their employees resorted to using pen and paper andhad retired employees come in to help production without the fancy machinery.This one ransomware attack affected their business operations, their customers,their brand, their reputation and their investors. Their long-term growth andrevenue took a major hit.
Although ransomware has greatly evolved and only started to affect the larger population in 2005, the first known ransomware attack was in 1989 by Joseph Popp, PhD, an AIDS researcher. He handed out 20,000 floppy discs claiming it had research on AIDS. Well, it did, but it also had malware on it. Once uploaded to a computer, the malware stayed dormant until the computer was powered on 90 times. Then, a message popped up demanding a payment of $189 and another $378 for a software lease. This attack was nicknamed the AIDS Trojan.
Side note: I can’t believe he handed out 20,000 floppy discs. The time and money he put into this scam is perplexing. The moral of the story is that anyone can be a hacker and if someone wants to do harm, they will.
Thecity of Atlanta was hacked in 2018. The ransom was set at $51,000 butthe city refused to pay. They estimated the recovery would cost about $3million. However, costs skyrocketed to over $17 million within months. To thisday, they never fully recovered data. Even some police evidence was lost onseveral cases. In the end, the city used taxpaying dollars to fix an issue thatcould have been prevented with proper cybersecurity in place. And that includesdisaster recovery. Instead, they cannot bring justice to many cases and theypaid more to recover data than what it would have cost to protect their data.
What are you doing to protect your data?
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