A Study On The Impact Of Ransomware Attacks On Colorado Springs Businesses
Over the last couple of years, ransomware has grown to become an ongoing security threat for businesses worldwide, and Colorado Springs businesses are among those that have been on the receiving end of this threat. As most businesses have embraced the use of technology in their operations, cybercriminals have resorted to maximizing their profits by exploiting the loopholes that come with the rapidly growing ecosystem.
Just recently, an attack by REvil on Kaseya VSA—a tool used by most IT businesses in Colorado Springs—led to these businesses’ data being breached. According to a statement released by Kaseya VSA, approximately 60 Kaseya clients on their premises were directly compromised by the attack.
That said, what action should you take after a ransomware attack? Should you pay the ransom to regain access to your data, or is there a better course of action? Below we take an in-depth look at the findings of a study conducted by Cybereason on the impact of ransomware attacks on businesses.
But first, let’s define what ransomware is.
What Is Ransomware?
Imagine this, you arrive at your office in the morning anticipating to reply to the heap of emails that piled up the previous evening only to realize that you’ve been denied access to these files, and then suddenly a warning message pops up on your screen. In short, ransomware is an ever-changing type of malware fashioned to encrypt files on a given device, thereby rendering these files unusable.
Cybereason’s Study On the Impact of Ransomware Attacks On Businesses
In most cases, when companies are attacked by ransomware, their first instinct would be to pay the ransom to regain access to their files. Well, this may not be the best course of action. In fact, according to a study conducted by Cybereason on the impact of ransomware attacks on businesses, 8 out of 10 of the businesses that opt to pay the ransom demand end up suffering a second attack, most often at the hands of the same cyber threat organization.
This Cybereason study, titled Ransomware: The True Cost to Business, also reveals that 46% of businesses that opted to pay the ransom demand to regain access to their files reported that all or some of their data were corrupted at the time of recovery. These findings point to the reason why paying ransomware attackers isn’t prudent. Businesses should rather channel their focus on developing early detection and prevention techniques to thwart ransomware attacks before the attacks jeopardize company data.
Key Findings of the Cybereason Report
- Ransom demands are skyrocketing: The study reveals that cyber attackers are becoming more aggressive in quoting their ransom demands. 35% of companies that opted to pay the ransom demand parted away with approximately $350,000—$1.4 million. Additionally, 7% of businesses that paid the ransom demand shelled out more than $1.4 million to restore their data. These statistics underscore just how costly paying the ransom can hurt the finances of your company.
- Loss of revenue: Let’s face it, ransomware attacks can hurt the revenue-generation process, given that most often than not, cybercriminals target high-value data to increase the chances of them getting the ransom. The study found out that 66% of businesses experienced a significant loss of revenue as a result of a ransomware attack.
- Tarnishing of brand reputation and image: Clients usually opt to work with companies that have secure networks that guarantee that their information is safe. As such, businesses that are attacked by ransomware risk damaging their brand reputation and image. This point is reiterated by the findings of the Cybereason study. It revealed that 53% of businesses reported that their brand image and reputation were tarnished following a successful ransomware attack.
- Loss of C-Level executives: 32% of businesses indicated that they lost C-level executives due to the impact caused by ransomware attacks. This includes not being able to afford the services of the C-level talent because of the financial implications of paying the ransom demand.
- Layoff of employees: Still connected to the financial implications caused by paying the ransom demand, 29% of businesses reported having laid off their employees because they couldn’t afford to pay their wages.
- Closure of businesses: There are instances when the impact of ransomware attacks is so dire that they result in the closure of businesses. 26% of businesses revealed that they were forced to close down their businesses for some time due to a ransomware attack.
Besides the findings outlined above, the study also revealed issues about the preparedness of organizations in addressing cyber threats, losses of businesses that may be covered by cyber insurance, and detailed reports on the impact of ransomware attacks based on factors such as company size, region, and industry vertical.
How Can You Protect Your Business From Ransomware Attacks?
Ransomware attacks are a menace to businesses across the world, often leading to massive business disruptions such as loss of valuable human resources and loss of income. In the case of the recent attack on Kaseya VSA, numerous companies, including those in Colorado Springs, were forced to adjust their operations in one way or the other.
Meeting the demands of the cyber attackers by paying the ransom does not guarantee that they will not hit your business again, nor does it guarantee the successful recovery of the breached data. In the long run, paying the ransom only aggravates the problem since it encourages further attacks. One surefire way of dealing with ransomware attacks is by adopting a prevention-first strategy to enable you to detect the attacks early and stop them from disrupting your business.
To achieve that feat, you need to partner with a proven cybersecurity provider. Colorado Computer Support is that company for you. We offer top-notch IT services, including data backups and planning, managed IT services, email and network security, and server virtualization services. You can depend on us to leverage the right technology to ensure that the security of your data and network is foolproof. Feel free to contact us today to learn more about our services.