What's the True Cost of a Ransomware Attack?

While it's easy to lump all hacking, scamming, skimming, and phishing together into one big pile of internet crime, there are subtle differences that set each apart. Another major problem in today's modern digital space is ransomware - a form of malware that attacks unsuspecting users by locking their data in encrypted files while the attacker makes their demands. You may have seen these ransomware attacks in the news recently as attackers target organizations ranging from small businesses to entire government networks. While there have always been plenty of risks, new data from Datto shows just how serious the issue actually is. 

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Projections show that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds globally in 2021, putting their own data and the data of their clients at risk. These trends aren't slowing down, either. Ransomware attacks continued to grow between 2017 and 2019, with a peak of 187.9 million from the data that is currently available - however, it's safe to say that number has continued to rise.

Why Are Ransomware Attacks Dangerous?

Any attack on a company's data is dangerous, but ransomware attacks pack multiple punches. While the criminals themselves generally demand roughly $5,600 in their average attack, the true cost to businesses comes in the downtime that these attacks cause. The criminal may get away with nearly $6,000, but in 2020 companies that fell victim to ransomware lost $274,200 from downtime alone - over a quarter million lost. That is a figure that has nearly doubled for three consecutive years with no signs of slowing down. In fact, downtime after an attack can cost nearly 50 times more than the ransom itself.


Attacks Are Getting Harder to Combat

Original ransomware attacks were very straightforward - files were held captive and victims were forced to pay. Just as defense against these attacks has grown, so have the attacks themselves. Even in a world where regular data backups are the norm, there are still ways that criminals can take your data hostage. New strategies target and encrypt backup solutions to increase the likelihood that the victim will pay - with no backup options, the victim has no choice. Increased threats don't stop there. Wake-on-LAN capabilities now allow attackers to power up more devices connected over the network, increasing the spread of the attack and netting more data throughout an entire organization. 

For companies that partner with MSPs for their technology solutions, there are still threats. While SeedSpark has multiple levels of security in place to mitigate the overwhelming majority of threats, hackers continue to target MSPs in an attempt to gain access to multiple businesses in a single attack that impacts a MSP's entire client base.


What is the true cost of a ransomware attack?

As mentioned earlier, the cost of a ransomware attack is often double the cost of other similar types of attacks. Even after taking into account the cost of the ransom itself - assuming that the impacted company is paying - there is then the additional cost of repairing networks, restoring backups, and repairing or replacing any lost devices. Again, the total cost of a ransomware attack in today's day and age may be upwards of $274,200 according to Datto - that's a cost that no company, regardless of size, wants to deal with.

Assuming that a company chooses to actually pay the ransom, the future of their data remains up in the air. 98 percent of companies who pay the ransom actually receive a decryption tool from the hackers, but even then there will be downtime during the recovery process. Even then, 4 percent never successfully recover their data. After an attack, 34 percent of businesses take more than a week with some companies' recovery efforts stretching on for weeks or months at a time. Once that amount of damage has been done, it's incredibly difficult for a company to recover at all. 

How can you protect your company and its data?

While hackers are always finding new ways to launch attacks online, there are several steps that companies should take to combat data breaches and protect themselves in the ever-connected digital space. 91 percent of MSPs agree that clients with a business continuity and disaster recovery plan (BCDR) are less likely to experience significant downtime after a ransomware attack. 

SeedSpark partners with Datto to provide industry-leading protection to our clients. Since 2007, Datto has been leading the cybersecurity industry through researching, developing, and implementing protective tools that ensure companies have as much protection as possible in the digital world. Their BCDR is comprehensive and constantly evolving to combat attacks as they evolve. BCDR reduces downtime during and after a breach, providing a route to easily restore key information and minimize any impact in day to day operations. Simultaneously, BCDR protection helps maintain regulatory compliance, protecting your company and its customers. Once any threats are mitigated, protection also helps with a postmortem analysis, determining how an attack happened to begin with and what steps should be implemented to fix any security shortcomings and enhance company protection into the future. 


What goes into Datto's BCDR defenses? Datto Global Blue Partner

The tech sector is overflowing with cybersecurity tools, backup programs, and defense mechanisms to the point that it can be overwhelming when trying to identify a solution that fits your needs. Through our partnership with Datto, SeedSpark is able to provide industry-leading coverage that checks every box to ensure that our clients are completely covered when it comes to their digital security front. 

Fast Failback

A "Rescue Agent" launched for disaster recovery while performing a continuously-mirrored bare metal restore.

Ransomware Detection

Automated post-backup ransomware scans your entire catalog of data, enabling boot verification to alert you as soon as ransomware is detected.

Rapid Rollback

Incremental reversions allow for your entire system to be restored to a previous backup - no reformatting or re-partitioning required. Your network, its hardware, and its data are all exactly as they were. 

Two-factor Authentication

As the industry standard, two-factor authentication secures a backup solution to prevent ransomware attacks from compromising data.

Instant Virtualization

Machine virtualization, whether locally or in the cloud, minimizes downtime after an attack or outage.

Secure Cloud Backup

Cloud backups take the guesswork out of network backups. Datto's secure offsite SOC 2 compliant geo-replicated cloud infrastructure enables fast and secure disaster recovery in the event of an attack. 

The most important step that anyone can take in their cybersecurity efforts is to understand what's at stake and the importance of having protection in place to prevent attacks and mitigate their impact if they do take place. Thankfully, teams around the world (including our own here at SeedSpark) are constantly searching for new opportunities to improve the protection that we provide our clients. If your company is searching for a comprehensive cybersecurity solution, our team at SeedSpark is ready to help. Contact our team today to learn more about the steps we'll take to keep your team and your data safe in today's digital world. 

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Written by Samuel Adams

As a lifelong fan of technology, Sam has always had a deep interest in learning about the latest innovations and how they are revolutionizing the worlds of business, marketing, and entertainment. As Social Media and Content Specialist at SeedSpark, he spends time chasing the newest trends and breakthroughs pushing the digital transformation in our personal and professional lives.

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