It seems like cybercrime is always in the news these days. The latest known hacking took place with Equifax just a few days ago with the personal information of millions having been stolen. But huge companies aren’t the only ones being victimized by cybercriminals, small companies are also in the crosshairs of hackers.
According to a new report by Datto, a data security solutions firm, small-to-midsize businesses paid in the neighborhood of $301 million in ransomware or other similar malicious software that blocks access to a system until a ransom is paid to the hackers last year. The study also reported that 5% of all small to mid-sized businesses worldwide fell victim to ransomware.
The bad news is that these types of attacks are increasing. The data from the report found that ransomware attacks more frequent in 2017 among small to mid-sized businesses.
Among one of the more noted ransomware attacks to place earlier this year. In the attack, a group of hackers used tools that are believed to have been stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) to lock down computers in more than 150 countries across the globe. The software, known as WannaCry, locked computers hospitals, government buildings, central banks and big corporations.
While ransomware remains a constant threat to large companies and organizations, smaller companies are no safer and are being targeted even more as they are perceived as having less, or no security on their networks. Once a ransomware attack is under way there is very little that can be done so all the efforts need to be on prevention.
For smaller companies, the prevailing advice from most data security firms is to maintain an effective disaster recovery plan which should include a complete backup solution for important mission critical data. In the event of an attack, backups can be used to limit the amount of downtime.