files encrypted by ransomware attacks on small businesses

The cost of ransomware attacks has been rising for businesses, especially small businesses. Like many other types of crime, ransomware’s success is based on the fear it instills in victims. Many people don’t know what to do when they receive a ransom note and this often leads them to pay the ransom without thinking twice.

Here are four reasons for the increase in the cost of ransomware attacks.

Information Disclosure, Identity Theft, and IP Theft

First, the more you pay the longer the extortionists will keep targeting you. This means that paying could lead to a never-ending stream of demands for payment and victims may find themselves in an endless loop of extortion.

The continuous demand for ransom payments also means that the ransom note will be sent to more victims. This means that people are more likely to find out about your infection and it could easily spread, becoming a much bigger issue for you. All of this could result in information disclosure, identity theft, and intellectual property (IP) theft.

The Lack of Detection

Second, extortionists are getting less desperate for payments. This means that they aren’t afraid that you will turn over the payment transaction records (if you made the payment by cash, credit card, or electronic currency).

If the attack was a targeted one and not just a random attack on a business that happens to have valuable data, then your chances of being detected are even greater. This is because extortionists will likely know where their target company is located and have an idea of how it operates. If your firm has a reputation for paying extortionists, the criminals will use this information to their advantage when negotiating payment demands.

An increasing number of victims

Third, the more individuals who pay the ransom demand, the more likely it is that others will do so if they receive a similar ransomware note in the future. Thus, the likelihood of another round of ransom notes succeeding is considerably higher than that of the first round. 

This may result in further victimization of small businesses that are unable to pay the ransom and have their data held hostage. The most typical victims of ransomware are tiny firms.  Therefore, it is essential to recognize how this malware works. 

One of the most significant reasons that corporate executives should be concerned about this problem is that preventive approaches are frequently far less expensive than dealing with live system ransomware infections. It is critical to avoid data loss, which is considerably more serious than the infection of a single device.

Reputation Repairs

Fourth, the cost of repairing a damaged reputation is often high. This is especially true if you are a company that already has a good reputation. Reputation repairs can come in many forms including ad campaigns or even product changes.

Repairing your business’ image could not only cost you money but it may also cause some customers to lose trust in your brand and, as a result, switch to a competitor’s products.

Final Thoughts

Ransomware is impossible to eliminate. It isn’t going anywhere which means that businesses have to come up with ways to address it. It’s the same as dealing with other types of crime like robbery or assault. You can use countermeasures but you are never 100% protected from being a victim of any type of crime.

To be prepared to deal with an attack, businesses can start by understanding how attackers operate, what countermeasures are available, and how to manage data loss in case extortionists get past your countermeasures.

Making sure that employees understand the potential for ransomware attacks is also extremely important because they are often the first victims. Educating employees on the risks of unsecured emails and downloading files from unknown sources, and making sure that they know how to spot a ransom demand will help them avoid being a victim.

So, if you want to mitigate the increasing cost of ransomware attacks and protect your business from identity theft or data loss, look for information security solutions that can help. Implementing strategies to prevent ransomware attacks will leave you in a much better position if one happens, and could even prevent you from becoming a target altogether.

To learn how to protect your business from ransomware attacks, contact ITS Group today for a free consultation

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