The ransomware info you need to know now

Ransomware has exploded into a thriving criminal enterprise—it’s not hyperbole to say it represents an existential threat to your organization.

Organizations of every size and type are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential of a ransomware attack, and they should be. No one is immune, and this lucrative cyber crime shows no signs of slowing down:

  • Ransomware attacks are increasing at an annual 350% growth rate
  • Approximately ⅓ of businesses have experienced an attack in the last year alone
  • 276 different ransomware strains have been identified as of early this year, and that figure is only expected to rise
  • More than 40% of spam emails contained malware links to ransomware in 2016—an increase of 6,000% over 2015

That’s why we’ve created this website.

Leveraging experts from the data security and backup and recovery sectors, we’ll provide the ransomware info you need to both protect and recover your data from the cyber criminals who would otherwise hold your data hostage.

But first, let’s explore the scale of the ransomware problem—and its impact on your organization.

Skyrocketing ransomware costs

About ⅓ of IT security professionals today suggest they would pay the ransom if it meant recovering their data. And, when you consider the impact of encrypted data on the livelihood of your organization and the people and businesses you serve, the choice is understandable.

Of course, the costs of ransomware go far beyond the ransom itself:

  • In 2015, Microsoft estimated over $300 million in damages resulted from ransomware attacks in 2015
  • Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that number would reach a whopping $1 billion in 2016
  • By 2021, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts ransomware costs will exceed $6 trillion

End user training has proven to be a powerful first line of defense. It’s also the largest variable in determining when, how, or if these ransomware costs will decrease or, frighteningly, continue to rise.

Cyber criminal targets

Ransomware infection threats lurk everywhere you connect online—and no workstation, device, operating system, or platform is safe.

Worse, ransomware attackers don’t discriminate. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual, large enterprise, government agency, small non-profit, or mom-and-pop shop—you’re all potential victims.

In fact, today, it’s a matter of when—not if—you or your organization will be hit.

As ransomware infection vectors become more sophisticated, there will be increasingly more ways to attack each and every one of these targets with razor’s-edge precision.

It’s important to remember, too, that ransomware attackers no longer seek to solely exploit financial data. It’s becoming much more personal—from HR files and electronic medical records to college admissions data and personal photo libraries, nothing is off limits.

The direct and indirect costs of ransomware attacks

The consequences of a ransomware attack are immediate and costly. Of course, the ransom itself immediately springs to mind—but the financial impacts don’t end there. In fact, they’re just beginning.

Even upon receipt of a decryption key, your IT department will be charged with eradicating infected systems and restoring data. That’s a laborious and stressful task, and it has to be done right. (If it sounds expensive, that’s because it is.)

What’s more, every employee without a functioning machine and access to business-critical data is also eroding your profits, thanks to the grinding halt in productivity.

On average, 33 hours of production time per machine is lost during and after a ransomware attack.

Once you’re back up-and-running, and the disruption to your general course of business is over, the real damage control begins.

Because the ransomware attack affected your ability to do business, it most likely negatively affected your clients and, consequently, their trust in you. In fact, if you provide services to other businesses, your unexpected downtime may have impacted their ability to conduct business, as well.

You’ll be working overtime to remediate what they may now perceive as a reliability issue on your part, and that takes time, money, and effort to resolve.

And, that hit to your reputation can have lasting impacts. Let’s face it, bad news travels fast.

Employee morale can also often suffer as a result. On top of the general chaos that occurs when your employees’ work lives are interrupted, consider also the very high level of stress they must manage when dealing with upset customers. Repairing that kind of damage to your organization’s most important asset—its people—isn’t an easy fix.

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Like a terrible foot fungus, and not nearly as pleasant, SamSam ransomware just won’t go away. This customized ransomware strain first entered the scene in 2016 and, today, it’s powering the types of targeted cyber attacks that should give all of us pause—especially those in the healthcare industry. Just consider this: In the past three…

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