Today, the vast majority of businesses depend on IT infrastructure to run their daily operations. Unfortunately, hackers also understand just how valuable this infrastructure can be, which is reflected by the growing prevalence of cybercrime. The consequences of cybercrime can be severe, and more organizations are losing money as a result. Cybercrime refers to a crime that involves a computer and a network. The computer may have been used in the commission of a crime, or it may be the target. These crimes could lead to system outages, the loss of data, and the compromise of personal information - and it affects everyone, from individuals, to all types of businesses and industry, even government organizations.
During the past few years, cybercrime has become more common. According to research published by CSIS, cybercrime cost companies close to $1 trillion in 2020. One specific type of cybercrime is ransomware. In a ransomware attack, a virus encrypts all files throughout an organization, rendering them unusable. Companies have to pay a ransom to free their files, which is costly - and costs continue to accumulate from loss of revenue, lost employee productivity, damage to your reputation and more.
A few statistics on ransomware include:
Because criminals are having so much success with ransomware attacks, the volume and sophistication of these attacks will continue to rise. Furthermore, due to the COVID19 pandemic, cybercriminals have been taking advantage of industries that have been hit the hardest, such as healthcare and education. Cybercriminals also see the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of employees that are now working remotely on their personal devices.
When cybercriminals target companies using a ransomware attack, they usually target companies that do not have the security infrastructure to defend against such an attack. They also target companies who they believe will have a lot of confidential information. They do this because they can usually extract a larger ransom from the victim to protect this information.
The top industries being targeted by ransomware attacks in 2021 include:
The truth is, there is no silver bullet to prevent a ransomware attack. Even the most protected and prepared businesses can fall victim to ransomware. However, businesses can take steps to lower their chances of falling victim to an attack.
Clearly, ransomware attacks are a major threat and businesses need to take steps to defend themselves. A few key tips to keep in mind include:
These are just a few ways to prepare for a ransomware attack - it is certainly not a comprehensive list. If you are interested in learning more, or if you have any questions on how to elevate your data protection strategy, why not schedule a brief meeting with one of our data protection specialists HERE. We'd love to hear from you!