The average cost of remediating a ransomware attack more than doubled in the last 12 months, according to Sophos.
“Remediation costs, including business downtime, lost orders, operational costs, and more, grew from an average of $761,106 in 2020 to $1.85 million in 2021,” Sophos found. “This means that the average cost of recovering from a ransomware attack is now 10 times the size of the ransom payment, on average.”
The steep costs associated with ransomware require us to understand what ransomware is and how an attack could affect your organization.
Ransomware is malicious software (malware) that encrypts your data and may even threaten to publish it until you pay a ransom. More often than not, the attacker is the only person who knows the key to decrypt your data.
You may be infected with malware if an email tricks you into opening a link or clicking on an attachment that launches the ransomware.
Everyone is a target for ransomware.
Small- and medium-sized businesses, in particular, are a target. The frequency of successful breaches for SMBs increases every day.
Without an incident response plan and protected data backup methods in place, SMBs risk losing thousands of dollars in ransom payments, plus incident response costs associated with restoring data and cleaning up breaches.
In fact, the cost of the fallout often costs much more than the actual ransom.
According to the Sophos report mentioned earlier, the average ransom paid in 2021 was $170,404, which balloons to $1.85 million in total remediation costs. Further, only 8% of organizations who paid the ransom retrieved all of their stolen data.
For medical practices and other regulated organizations, a ransomware attack may be classified as a "reportable breach," impacting the reputation of the organization, and costing additional money in fines and penalties.
Ransomware attackers often demand payment in the form of cryptocurrency such as bitcoin. This helps to make the transaction, and the assailant, untraceable.
However, there is never a guarantee that the attackers will relinquish the locked systems and stolen data back to you even if you pay them. That’s why law enforcement agencies worldwide advise against paying and rewarding ransomware attackers unless it’s a last resort.
The threat from ransomware can be mitigated with some basic security controls in place so that companies can avoid paying the hefty ransom.
By implementing these basic security practices, your organization should be in a good position to deflect ransomware attacks.
If you’re interested in learning more about your data’s security posture, please download our data security checklist!
Or, consider taking a look at how Integrity's managed security services protect organizations against ransomware.