There are plenty of malware weapons in a cybercriminal’s arsenal. Ransomware has proven its effectiveness time and time again, and it has become a favorite among cybercriminals worldwide. It is a type of malware that infects your computer files and encrypts them, making them completely inaccessible to you. To retrieve your data, you must pay the cybercriminal for the decryption key to unlock your files.
Ransomware has been making headlines since back in 1989. In May 2017, CNN reported on the biggest attack to date (known as “WannaCry”). It affected more than 75,000 systems in almost 100 different countries, making it one of the biggest and most damaging cyberattacks in history. It’s safe to say that ransomware is dangerous, but what exactly does ransomware do that’s so damaging?
1. It removes your ability to work
If you’re hit by ransomware, your productivity completely comes to a halt. When the virus infects your files, it locks them behind an encryption that is largely uncrackable. What does that mean for your business? It means that you will experience a period of downtime.
That can spell disaster for small businesses. Downtime can cost up to $8,600 an hour, with the average amount of downtime totaling around seven hours. Being hit with ransomware is more than just a nuisance. If left unsolved for too long, it can cripple your business completely.
2. It can cost a lot of money
Ransomware is aptly named, as it really does require you to pay a ransom to get your data back. Since there are thousands of variants of ransomware, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much a ransom is going to cost. Though it differs on a case-by-case basis, ransomware attacks can be extremely expensive for your business. This is especially true if your operational data becomes encrypted.
In 2016, the patient records from the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center were held hostage by hackers utilizing ransomware. Because these records were so critical to day-to-day operations, the hospital administration found it best to just pay the $17,000 ransom to get their data back. If your company has its data taken hostage, paying the hacker’s demands will cost your company dearly.
3. Your reputation will take a hit
When you get hit by ransomware, you’re not thinking about anything besides getting your files decrypted. If you manage to get them back, you may think that you’re in the clear. Unfortunately, the virus can have some catastrophic effects on your organization’s reputation. In fact, 87% of people are less likely to do business with a company that has suffered a data breach.
You can prevent ransomware from adversely affecting your systems in many ways, such as active cybersecurity protocols combined with a disaster recovery plan. People view your company as unprofessional and unprepared if you don’t have these measures in place. After all, if you can’t handle your own company’s files, why should people trust you with their money or their information?
Don’t become a victim
You should take every measure possible to avoid suffering from a ransomware attack. Not having a plan of action leaves you open and vulnerable to the catastrophic side effects of an attack.
Our team at DMS Technology wants to help you fight ransomware. We’ll work with you to develop a plan to defend your business so that you never have to worry about it again. If you’d like to work together with us, let’s get started.