Want to know the costs associated with Ransomware attacks

Ransomware is topping the charts of cyber security this year and that too after knocking ‘targeted attacks’ from the top of the list of 2015. Fatefully, this is a situation that will continue to evolve, and those beyond the extortion could well end up being named “problem creators of 2016”.

According to a report generated by Security Firm Kaspersky, about 60 percent to 70 percent of ransomware is deployed via email phishing schemes, with the remainder largely spread through malicious online downloads.

For companies earning bread & butter from data, inappropriate security policies and protocols can land them in deep trouble. Factually speaking, you are the apt targets for ransomware or a type of malware that locks and compromises files or entire systems unless users pay a ransom.

What else does ransomware do? In order to know the facts on costs associated with Ransomware attacks, follow the article on a further note-

Data Recovery is impossible without a key- When ransomware attacks user devices and encrypts files; there is no way to recover the affected files without a valid key. And in order to obtain the key, you need to pay the amount to the cyber criminal who induced ransomware into your network. Because of this, victims are often tempted to pay the ransom, which brings to them the next cost….

Will the bad guy really return the data- Hackers who collected business data, demand to pay a certain amount in order to free it from their pangs. Even if the victim tries to pay the said amount, there is no guaranty that the hacker will release the decryption key and cover even charge a higher price for it. So, how to solve this crisis? Well there is no proper solution for such scenarios.

Encryption is often network wide- If a compromised device is connected to a shared or mapped network drive; the devices connected to that network are vulnerable to data corruption and loss. Oftentimes, networks are infected by a botnet, or a group of Internet-connected devices configured to forward transmissions (such as spam or viruses) to other devices, despite their owners being unaware of it. This practice of exploiting shared network drives and infecting many through one dramatically augments the threat impact and could potentially shut down a whole business.

Ransomware market is flourishing- Till a couple of years ago; Ransomware market was not as ripe as it is today. In 2016, the cost of ransomware payments has increase from $300 to $700 per attack. And in future more rise in costs will be witnessed. Adding to this frustration, as hackers demand virtual currency as payment, there is no way we can track the money of such payments.

Downtime is expensive for companies relying on data (like finance firms) and so SMBs have to oblige the demands of the hackers at any cost. There is no way to come out of the situation if your critical data is struck in the hands of hackers.

So, are we really helpless on this note? Well, not exactly as we can keep a backup and disaster recovery plan on hand to counter this situation. Atleast we can avoid downtime with a data continuity plan on hand and then think about ways to make the deal with the hackers.

StoneFly, Inc, a wholly owned business subsidiary of Dynamic Network Factory offers Physical as well as Cloud based backup and disaster recovery solutions. With these solutions, users can keep a regular backup of their production data which can be easily recovered as soon as a man made (human error or ransomware) or natural disaster (like tsunami, flood) strikes.

Remember, when your data server gets hacked and ransomware is loaded onto your server to encrypt all the data, there is no chance that the data gets leaked, if in case, you fail to pay the bad guys. That’s due to the fact that hackers can only encrypt the data, but cannot move it to their network- atleast not with the present day sophistication.

So, all you need to do is keep a data backup copy on hand and then use it for your business.

Please make a note that the investment made today will help you tomorrow from this cyber crime filled world.

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