Ransomware attacks are now such a regular occurrence that it’s only the very biggest of them that make the news, such as WannaCry, in May 2017, which is thought to have affected up to 70,000 NHS devices.
There’s no doubt that the NHS is a big organisation (it has 1.2m employees), and many people wrongly assume that ransomware attacks only affect large businesses, but about 43 per cent of all incidents are on small companies, and the most concerning number in all of this is that 60 per cent of small businesses are no longer operating within six months of a cyber attack.
A small and medium sized enterprise (SMEs) is any company with fewer than 250 employees, and as of 2018 there were 5.7 million of them in the UK; that’s more than 99 per cent of all businesses. Micro-businesses have 0-9 employees, and there were 5.4m of them operating in the UK in 2018, accounting for 96 per cent of all firms.
But what exactly is a ransomware attack? Well it’s a type of malware, or malicious code, that locks up a computer so it can’t be accessed unless a ransom is paid to the hackers, usually in the form of Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency that can’t be traced.
One train of thought is to ignore the attack and not pay; so you could reinstall all your equipment (which is very time consuming, and time is money) and at the end of all that you’ve more than likely lost all of your company, and possibly employee, data. And there’s no guarantee that you’ve actually fixed the issue.
Regardless of whether people pay or not, the costs are steep and it’s estimated that global ransomware attacks will cost £8.84bn this year alone; that’s just a bit less than the 2012 GDP of Malta!
Now for a very timely cliché; prevention is better than cure. There are many things you can do to keep ransomware at bay such as going beyond using the basic anti-virus software (and ensuring it can detect and prevent ransomware attacks), updating your software regularly, and you definitely should not be running Windows XP or Windows 8*.
In 2019 a ransomware attack is expected to occur every 14 seconds so it pays to be suspicious of emails and pop-up ads. If something doesn’t seem right or appears out of the ordinary, there’s a good chance it could be ransomware or some other type of malware. If in doubt – don’t click on the ad or email! Employees are the cause of almost half of all hacking attacks; after all they’re the ones that click on emails or ads that can exploit company systems, so training is definitely the name of the game!
At Vital Technology Group we safeguard our clients with the SIRIS 3 data protection platform from cybersecurity and data backup company Datto. SIRIS 3 was the first system on the market to have ransomware detection capability and is able to protect physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures and data, and in one integrated solution.
Take a look at this explainer video –
By choosing from a family of physical, virtual and software appliances as well as a variety of storage options, we are able to craft a unique data protection solution tailored to the individual business. SIRIS 3 supports a wide array of operating systems including Windows, Mac and Linux and it has the ability to protect and restore to both physical machines and virtual environments, giving our clients the option to restore no matter where their business data lives.
*If you don’t think there’s anything wrong with using Windows XP or Windows 8, then you really do need to talk to us, and quickly.
If you’d like to talk to us about your company data back up and protection, please call on: 0333 241 9301 or click the ‘Let’s Talk’ button below, complete the short form and we’ll call you.