Imagine opening your business one morning, turning your computer on and reading a message that says something like: Attention – Your System is Locked. If you want your data and programs unlocked, you must pay a fee of $800. If you are a new business or a small one, $800 can be a lot of money. It is in effect a ransom payment and is the harbinger that your computer is a victim of ransomware.
Ransomware is malware that either freezes your computer or locks it so you cannot access data and programs that your company typically uses. The criminal that is holding your system hostage, demands a ransom that is usually paid in Bitcoin. One thing about this kind of criminal is they believe in excellent customer service. Instructions are sent you about how to pay in Bitcoin. Also, the thief or gang of thieves usually do return your computer back over to you – otherwise, most people would not bother to pay the ransom.
However, the ransom is only the beginning of your expenses relating to a ransomware incident involving your business.
In 2016, the average cost of paying a ransom demand involving accessing a business’ computer programs and data was $679. It is expected to rise in 2017 to nearly $800. But, that is not the only, nor necessarily, the greatest expense. The other costs attendant to ransomware include:
It is the duty of every business to safeguard the Personal Financial Information (PFI) and Personal Identifying Information (PII) of clients and customers. Regulatory authorities such as the US Department of Health and Human Services (HIPAA compliance) or the Federal Trade Commission for letting PII fall victim to a ransomware attack. Fines can be high (millions of dollars) but are usually not levied if there had been no other prior issues regarding confidentiality. For those firms who had previous breaches, fines can quickly add up to millions of dollars.
When a computer system is unreachable, your employees are undergoing downtime. Without your business data and programs, they are unable to work and are simply nothing more than another expense due to ransomware. Depending on the size of your workforce is how much this costs. A research study by the firm Vanson Bourne for SentinelOne reveals that it takes 38 man hours to recover from a ransomware attack.
When a company is victimized by a ransomware attack, most states require that anyone whose data may have been breached must be advised of the possible breach. Doing so may lead to customers leaving you for another company. Likewise, it is harder to find new clients or customers.
The situation is similar when it comes to employee retention and new hires – employees want to know their employer has an excellent reputation that is unsullied by a successful ransomware attack.
Forty-three percent of attacks are aimed at SMBs, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves (Accenture).
It takes an average of 287 days for security teams to identify and contain a data breach, according to the “Cost of a Data Breach 2021” report released by IBM and Ponemon Institute.
The average cost of a data breach in the United States is $8.64 million, which is the highest in the world, while the most expensive sector for data breach costs is the healthcare industry, with an average of $7.13 million (IBM).
More than 33 billion records will be stolen by cybercriminals by 2023, an increase of 175% from 2018.
The three sectors with the biggest spending on cybersecurity are banking, manufacturing, and the central/federal government, accounting for 30% of overall spending (IDC).
The cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to the latest version of the Cisco/Cybersecurity Ventures “2022 Cybersecurity Almanac.”.
40% of businesses will incorporate the anywhere operations model to accommodate the physical and digital experiences of both customers and employees (Techvera).
The internal team was energized. With the Level 1 work off its plate, the team turned its attention to the work that fueled company growth and gave them job satisfaction.
We did a proof of concept that met every requirement that our customer might have. In fact, we saw a substantial improvement.
We did everything that we needed to do, financially speaking. We got our invoices out to customers, we deposited checks, all the things we needed to do to keep our business running, and our customers had no idea about the tragedy. It didn’t impact them at all.
“We believe our success is due to the strength of our team, the breadth of our services, our flexibility in responding to clients, and our focus on strategic support.”