Why Paying After a Ransomware Attack Is Futile

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 10-12-2016 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Why Paying After a Ransomware Attack Is Futile
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    Why Paying After a Ransomware Attack Is Futile

    Paying up after a ransomware attack often does little good, so businesses should focus on how to continue to operate when confronted with an attack.
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    Ransomware Targeting SMBs More Frequently
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    Ransomware Targeting SMBs More Frequently

    97% of respondents say ransomware attacks on small businesses (SMBs) are becoming more frequent, a trend expected to continue during the next two years.
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    Disconnect Between IT Service Providers and SMBs
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    Disconnect Between IT Service Providers and SMBs

    Only 34% of SMBs are highly concerned about the ransomware threat, in contrast to 88% of IT service providers.
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    Repetitive Ransomware Attacks
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    Repetitive Ransomware Attacks

    91% of respondents have clients who were victimized by ransomware, and 40% of them have been attacked six or more times in the last year. 31% of IT service providers have experienced many such incidents in one day.
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    Most Common Ransomware: CryptoLocker
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    Most Common Ransomware: CryptoLocker

    CryptoLocker is the most common strain of ransomware, with a 95% impact on SMBs. Locky follows at 38%, TeslaCrypt at 19%, and CBT Locker at 16%.
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    Failure to Alert Authorities
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    Failure to Alert Authorities

    One-fourth of ransomware incidents are reported to the authorities.
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    Phishing Email Scams Prevail
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    Phishing Email Scams Prevail

    The leading cause of ransomware infection phishing email scam, followed by a lack of employee awareness.
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    Ransomware Outpaces Defenses
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    Ransomware Outpaces Defenses

    93% of respondents report that customers are victimized despite anti-virus/anti-malware software that they have in place. Other defense measures are as follows: Email/spam filters: 77%, Patched/Updated apps: 58%, Ad/Pop-up Blockers: 21%, Cyber security training: 14%
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    Most Common Impact of Ransomware
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    Most Common Impact of Ransomware

    The most common impact of ransomware infection is downtime (63%), followed by lost data and lost devices (48%).
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    Paying Ransom Does Not Guarantee Returned Data
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    Paying Ransom Does Not Guarantee Returned Data

    7% of respondents report incidents in which end-users paid up to no avail.
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    Most Common OSes Affected
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    Most Common OSes Affected

    Windows is the most common system infected by ransomware (according to 100% of respondents), followed by OS X (according to 3%). Linux and Android follow at 2% each.
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    Mobile Devices Unscathed So Far
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    Mobile Devices Unscathed So Far

    Only 3% of respondents report seeing a ransomware infection on a mobile device or tablet.
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    Ransomware in the Cloud
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    Ransomware in the Cloud

    The cloud is far from immune to ransomware attacks. 35% of respondents say that Dropbox (70%), Office 365 (29%), and Google Apps (12%) are particular targets. Box and Salesforce trail at 6% and 3%, respectively.
 

A new report finds that paying ransom after a ransomware attack not only further fuels this crime wave, but does not guarantee that lost the data will be returned. "Standard preventive measures, such as anti-virus software, spam filters and regularly updating systems should be taken, but there is no surefire way of preventing ransomware," the report says. Instead, businesses should focus on how to maintain operations in spite of a ransomware attack. As ransomware variants continue to evolve to a level of sophistication that surpasses our top defense solutions, so must the approach to support these threats, says the report, "Datto's State of the Channel Ransomware Report 2016." It recommends regularly training employees on cyber-security best practices, including how to avoid phishing scams, and how to spot a bad website. Datto, a provider of backup, recovery and business continuity solutions, surveyed 1,100 managed service providers in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Here are highlights from the report.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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