Today, data serves as the lifeblood of businesses around the world. While many companies go to great lengths to ensure their data is secure and accessible, 2016 gave way to a cyber threat that challenged the safety of their data. As we all know, ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts data and holds it for ransom until users pay hackers a demanded fee. Victims are often given a 72-hour window to comply, and ransom is typically requested in the form of Bitcoin.
In the past year, we’ve watched as ransomware frequently made headlines under various aliases. It has targeted industries like healthcare, construction, manufacturing and education, to name a few. In many cases, victims comply with the hackers because they are left little hope to recover their data otherwise.
In light of the frequency of these attacks, Datto surveyed more than 1,100 managed service providers (MSPs) in the United States and worldwide about their recent experience with the malicious malware. Here are some key findings that shed light on the current state of ransomware:
- Of the types of ransomware attacking their clients, 95% of MSPs reported CryptoLocker as the No. 1 offender. Locky came in second, at 38%.
- 93% of respondents reported that clients who were attacked by ransomware had antivirus/antimalware software in place. 77% also reported that ransomware made it through their clients' email/spam filters.
- Aside from financial losses due to paying ransoms, 63% of respondents said that their clients experienced business-threatening downtime The losses have moved beyond monetary.
- Paying the ransom doesn’t always guarantee timely return (or any return) of data.
- With a backup and disaster recovery solution in place, 97% of SMBs could quickly recovery from ransomware. Without one, only 68% could fully recover the data.
So, what can we take away from the statistics above? CryptoLocker remains a heavy hitter in the world of ransomware. It’s become a buzzword synonymous with malware, and would likely be helpful when explaining ransomware to your clients.
Educating end users about the consequences of ransomware is also hugely important, as it seems to be making it past the gates of preventative software and filters. In today’s cyber world, these measures aren’t enough. Downtime caused by ransomware can be the most crippling for businesses that can’t afford for their data to be out of reach. While ransomware cannot be prevented, businesses can stop it from succeeding if they have proper business continuity solutions in place--with the No. 1 solution being backup and disaster recovery.
If you’re interested in learning more about how ransomware has affected small businesses in 2016 and what’s predicted for the year to come, you can download the entire report, “Datto’s State of the Channel Ransomware Report 2016."
Rob Rae is Vice President of Business Development, Datto.
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