In the thriving landscape of global cybercrime, ransomware is extending its reach ever further. Swiftly taking an increasing portion of the global cost of cybercrime, this highly disruptive and extortionate practice is aimed at a target ripe for the taking: small business.
What is it?
As the name implies, ransomware holds the asset or business owner to ransom. By infecting the source, it is possible for ransomware viruses to restrict access to business-critical data and software unless a fee is paid. Like more traditional crime, payment is far from a guarantee of safety, with victims who cough up falling victim to repeated extortion.
It’s far from new. Ransomware has been on the scene since the infamous “Trojan horse” in 1989. What you can bet on is the sophistication of modern viruses that are insidious and capable of penetrating the poor standard of cybersecurity common to small businesses.
The damage it causes
The scale of the problem is far from small. The U.S Department of Justice recently estimated that ransomware will be the most damaging form of cybercrime experienced in 2017.The problem is fast exceeding mere millions. Robert Herjavec, the founder of Herjavec Group, provided an accurate estimate of $1 billion Dollars in damage an extortion worldwide in 2016 due to ransomware alone.
This alarming figure is all the more concerning due to its meteoric rise in such a short time; it wasn’t long ago that the FBI and industry giant MacAfee were talking figures in the tens and hundreds of millions for the major ransomware at the time.
Why small business?
The numbers are simple. Why target one large company per month for £10,000 when ten smaller businesses can be attacked and extorted for £2,000 instead? Lacking in dedicated risk & security staff, small businesses are also inherently more vulnerable to attack. Proper precaution against cybercrime is no small undertaking and the investment in money and time required to effectively safeguard against ransomware is something many SME’s simply cannot afford.
Criminals know this. The statistics on the expansion of ransomware in the small business landscape is nothing short of incredible, with the frequency of attacks in 2017 predicted to triple or quadruple those of 2015. With new ransomware specifically designed to bypass common gaps in security such as the absence of anti-malware software, perpetrators are well prepared to exploit the security tendencies of such smaller business worldwide.
How to prepare
With the extent of damage to entrepreneurial start-ups and SME’s across the world, now more than ever is the time to identify and protect to avoid falling victim yourself.
The good news is you have options. With software, hardware and professional consultative support becoming a bigger business with every year within the cybercrime landscape, many services and solutions have arisen that can help ensure your business does not fall victim to the insidious threat of ransomware and wider cybercrime.
For those with the budget, simple professional consultation can be a swift solution that can tailor to your business-specific needs. Cybersecurity professionals will possess comprehensive and specialized skills that can prove critical to protecting business assets and infrastructure.
If the independent approach suits your needs better, standard practices such as the mandating of strong passwords and effective firewall and intrusion detection systems can easily make your business more trouble than it is worth to target. It’s worth remembering that small business is a ripe target due to the tendency for little to no cyber security; a solid application of tried and tested basics can ensure a robust level of protection to most attacks.
Large or small, no business can afford to be complacent. With the average costs of even fake ransomware attacks costing UK businesses over £13,000 per incident the writing is on the wall: invest in security or risk the consequences of an attack.
Custodian360 is a complete EndPoint Protection solution offering, Prevention, Detection and Remediation with full spectrum analytics. Powered by AVR International Ltd, Custodian360 allows us to centrally manage your EndPoints using our behavioural analysis agent to alert our experienced analysts to assess the threat quickly and effectively.
When threats are detected we are able to stop them in their tracks regardless of their nature, be it conventional malware, file less, browser or network based threats thus ensuring the safety of your users and continuity of business is uninterrupted. Even in the case of the most virulent ransomware strains, if any files are encrypted we can offer full remediation in a matter of seconds returning your files to a pre-execution state and removing all traces of any threat.