Businesses, beware! Ransomware attacks have developed through the years, with attackers implementing more covert and advanced techniques, while at the same time learning from the mistakes in implementation that occurred in earlier generations of attacks. Moreover, a number of attacks have become more devious with a new component that involves data leaks, which in turn makes companies vulnerable, as they are exposed to graver threats than traditional data loss that used to be the only threat posed by ransomware.
So, how has ransomware threatened so many institutions? How has it evolved into a more threatening event? Are businesses ready and have they equipped themselves with the necessary tools to combat these attacks? Finally, can the government do anything about this, since there have been some government institutions that have been affected?
Not just business, but whole towns!
The trends that have been prevalent in 2019 indicate that not only will these attacks be more present, but they are likely to happen more. And this will not only affect businesses, but also entire towns. In fact, it has been reported that for every six towns in the state of Massachusetts, one is a victim of ransomware.
Many towns recovered their files from backups, but at least 10 handed over taxpayer money to hackers to unlock their data, records obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators show.
Inside the Bay State, a handful of attacks against cities and towns have garnered widespread attention, though the problem may be more prevalent than many imagine.
The academe is not spared
Even higher institutions of learning have also fallen victim to cybercriminals peddling ransomware. Niagara University had to cancel classes on the second week of February as their computer system came under attack. The university’s IT personnel discovered on February 12 that ransomware attacked has caused some of its email servers to lockdown.
These attacks can be very serious, like the attack which crippled Erie County Medical Center recently. Some companies have been driven out of business because they can’t gain access to their own computer systems.
The new danger
What sets the new wave of ransomware cybercriminals apart from the older generations is that they have taken extortion to a new level by exposing data that they stole online and threatening whole batches of data if they do not get paid by the companies in exchange of unencrypting the data they got.
The Italian foods company Fratelli Beretta saw all the data exfiltrated from 53 systems (a total of 3GB) posted online by Maze. And more recent victims have had smaller dumps posted. Stockdale Radiology, a radiology clinic in Bakersfield, California, saw screenshots of affected systems and data from the clinic’s fax server posted—including patient data transmitted from another MRI clinic.
Recovery comes with a price
Not only is being victimized by ransomware an expensive experience, but recovering from it is also more expensive as well.
It’s getting more and more expensive for victims of ransomware attacks to recover. The average cost more than doubled in the final quarter of 2019. According to a new report from Coveware, a typical total now stands at $84,116. That’s a little over double the previous figure of $41,198.
It can close your shop
A few businesses have become bankrupt because of ransomware. This is because ransomware can cost a business their data, cash, and accounts, which in turn will make their customers look for other options. Direct costs in the form of ransom cybercriminals can reach thousands of dollars, and more losses are incurred because of indirect costs. But then, there are ways businesses can adopt to lessen their risk.
But you can limit your losses if you take precautions before someone tries to attack you. Those precautions can include protecting your networks and computers from being attacked, preventing the attack from proceeding and allowing you to recover if the attack was successful.
While a ransomware attack might make you feel helpless, trying to recover lost data shouldn’t. We can help you with our full suite of services. If you have a Mac, click here to see how we can help you.