Cyber attacks are the order of the day, leaving many business owners and entrepreneurs wondering what the cost of ransomware is to a business. And even more so in this day and age, as teleworking has increased the risk of cyber-attacks. Faced with this situation, many companies are analysing the cost of ransomware to the business and what they can do to prevent it.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware – how does it spread? This question is on the minds of countless business people and entrepreneurs.
But what is ransomware? Ransomware can be defined as a type of malware or malicious software that causes affected individuals or companies to be able to access their system or personal files only after a ransom has been paid.
The method of requesting the money has changed over time and, nowadays, most ransomware writers request payment by credit card or cryptocurrency.
According to data provided by Statista, more than 200 million ransomware attacks took place worldwide in 2018 alone, which can result in significant financial losses for businesses.
How does it spread?
If we focus on the ways hackers use to spread ransomware, we can see that there are different options, but as a general rule they use malvertising, sending emails with malicious web addresses, download platforms for illegal content and access from remote desktops.
Hence the importance of analysing the content of emails very carefully before clicking on a URL, as it may be a malicious address that injects malware into your computer system.
How much can ransomware cost a company?
The cost of ransomware can vary greatly depending on the type of malware and the company that has been affected by this type of malware.
In order to determine the amount, it is necessary to evaluate aspects such as the loss of profits due to having to interrupt business activity, the theft of information, the costs derived from extortion or ransom, the damage to the organisation’s computer systems and the recovery of the information that has been stolen, mainly.
If we highlight one of the most famous ransomware attacks in history, we only have to pay attention to the WannaCry cyberattack, which began in Telefónica Spain, ended up infecting more than 300,000 computers and resulted in economic losses exceeding one billion dollars.
However, studies show that the average cost of a ransomware attack averages $130,000.
Is there protection against ransomware?
Although this figure may be lower or higher depending on the circumstances and the size of the company, it should not be forgotten that protecting oneself from this malicious software is essential to prevent the business from suffering significant monetary losses.
There is no such thing as absolute protection against ransomware, but it is necessary to take preventative measures to minimise the risk.
To achieve this, industry experts recommend reading emails carefully before clicking on a link or downloading an attachment, and disregarding links posted on social media that appear to point to malicious web platforms.
In order to avoid the damaging effects of ransomware, it may also be worthwhile to have offline backups, use quality antivirus and other software to keep your computer safe from this type of malware.
However, if it has not been possible to prevent the attack, it is best to consult an IT security specialist before taking any action.
The expert will determine whether it is necessary to pay the ransom demanded by the hackers, as well as whether there is a decryptor that can recover the damaged or lost files.