Ransomware prevents access to critical systems or data until a ransom is paid. Anti-ransom software, a lifesaver for many businesses, protects against malicious cyber-attacks. Even clicking on an infected link, which is very easy to do, can cost companies downtime and revenue. In 2018, ransom attacks were the most common form of cybercrime and includes many high-profile attacks. In 2019, ransom attacks are only accelerating.
Taking Preventative Action
Defending against cyber criminals comes at a cost. In 2019, the average payment on anti-ransom was $41,198. That number is up significantly from previous years. Specifically, it is six times the amount spent on anti-ransom software in 2018.
As evidence shows, corporations are spending more and more to prevent ransom attacks, which translates to a lucrative career for cyber criminals. However, the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly holds true in this case. A single ransom attack can cost a company $713,000 or more. Therefore, it is apparent that investing in anti-ransom software can prevent a significant amount of damage and expenses.
Who is Affected?
As it turns out, ransom attacks don’t target everyone equally. They focus primarily on five industries, which are:
Unfortunately, just as awareness of ransom attacks grows, so do attempts to launch an attack. For corporations and consumers, it’s more critical now than ever to stay one step ahead. Professional service providers receive about 18.3% of all ransom attacks. For software providers, that number is 11.7%. The public sector gets about 13.3% of attacks. In the healthcare industry, 2019 shows a 12.8% rate of cyber-attacks.
Although ransom attacks target different industries, there is a common theme. They typically target large service providers (either national or multinational corporations) and providers with multi-million-dollar assets. Snarling the operations of a large company requires sophisticated attack schemes, which cyber criminals willingly sacrifice time and money for.
What’s Your Risk?
Although these five industries are most likely affected by ransom attacks to steal information, ransom attacks can target anyone. In 2017, a famous outbreak called WannaCry targeted over 200,000 computers across 150 countries. Globally, that sole ransom attack cost businesses critical time, income, and communication. When the attack was over, its resulting cost amounted to $8B. Another attack in 2017 called NotPeya also caused tremendous damage. It affected thousands of businesses around the world and failed to stop attacking even after ransom requests were paid. Also in 2017, the “Bad Rabbit” ransom attack in Europe crippled systems across Europe, Russia, and the United Kingdom. From local businesses to international organizations, anyone can fall victim to a ransom attack if they are not careful to stop it.
Breaking Down the Cost
In 2019 alone, the average payment for ransom quadrupled from about $12,762 to over $36,000. Considering the fact that a ransom attack can cost a company between seven and nine days of business, many companies understand the value in preventing a crippling attack before it happens. Furthermore, a company will lose about 10% of its data in any ransom attack. It takes a company about 30 days to regain communications, confidence, and start getting revenue again after a ransom attack. That translates to a lot of lost work time, productivity, and profits.
Although the average cost of ransomware for 2019 across the board is $41,128, there is some variation among industries. The highest recorded payment for anti-ransom software this year is nearly $65,000. Some industries pay less than $30,000 annually to protect against ransom attacks. Historically, lower-risk industries are less willing to spend money on software to prevent malware attacks. But all companies are at risk, which means large and small companies alike benefit from purchasing anti-ransom software.
How to Prevent Attacks
Sometimes, preventing a ransom attack is unavoidable. But imposing tight security measures on your company’s operating system and investing in preventative software or hardware is key. Furthermore, it helps to train employees how to navigate your company’s system safely.
If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact Secure Forensic. With forensic experts and private investigators, we offer malware assistance for many industries and clients. We can help to remove malware on a system and determine what data was compromised. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you diminish the risk of a data attack or prevent one in the future at 1-800-288-1407.