What is Ransomware and What is its Financial Impact?

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Ransomware attacks can be extremely costly as it can impact a business’s productivity, reputation, and continuity.  It is never advised to pay a ransom, but many business’s do.

Ransomware is a malicious software that is designed to block its victim’s access to a computer system until a sum of money has been paid. It has some key characteristics that differentiate itself from other malware, including:

  • An unbreakable encryption
  • Ability to encrypt all kinds of files
  • Scrambles company’s file names
  • Adds different extensions to company files
  • Displays an image or message to tell you that your data has been encrypted
  • Requests payment in Bitcoins
  • Payments have a time-limit
  • Can spread to other PCs connected in a local network
  • Can include geographical targeting

In 2016, the average ransom amount, in US dollars, was $679. This is no small fee especially if you are a small- to medium-sized business. But this could just be a fraction of the costs — both reputational and monetary—that your company could face after a ransomware incident.

What makes ransomware so difficult is that there is no guarantee that you will actually be given the decryption key after you pay the ransom. So this means your company could be out nearly $700 and still be at square one.

Loss of Data

The loss of data, as a result of files being encrypted, can a bigger impact on your business than you realize. Studies have found that less than 50% of ransomware victims are able to fully recover their data following an attack.  With the loss of company records, intellectual property or clients’ personally identifiable information, your company’s reputation, brand and finances can be significantly impacted.

This loss can also affect your productivity and cause your operations to sit at a standstill. Without being able to access your information, you will start to miss deadlines and potentially lose sales.

Downtime Costs  

When faced with a ransomware attack, it creates a hard decision for your business. You can either pay the ransom or spend numerous days trying to recover locked files. In either situation your company will face significant downtime that can overshadow the weight of the ransom cost. Downtime actually costs North American organizations up to $700 billion annually.

Downtime cost is not something you want your company to suffer through, even if it is a few hours. In order to properly handle the infection, your company might be forced to completely shut down its systems leading to financial losses and reduced customer satisfaction.

In order to avoid extended downtime and the costs that come with it, your company should consider a backup and disaster recovery plan that can archive files and immediately access those clean files so you can stay productive and profitable.

If you’re unprotected, these next attacks might be against your company. Contact Dynamix Solutions to stop the attack before it happens and ensure your company’s protection!