Ransomware: Downtime more costly than ransom

You might think that having to pay for files locked by ransomware was costly to business, but it's the downtime that actually hurts the firm more.

Those are the results of a new survey conducted by cloud IT services company Intermedia. The survey, entitled 2016 Crypto-Ransomware Report, polled nearly 300 expert IT consultants about the current trends in malware.

According to the report, it's not the ransom that hurts the business as much as downtime, as many firms do not have a business continuity plan. Such a plan would help the firm continue working while under a cryptolocker attack.

Instead, they suffer costly downtime, with 72 per cent not being able to access their files for two days, and 32 per cent for five days, or more. The results are obvious – data recovery costs, reduced customer satisfaction, lost sales and, as Intermedia puts it, 'traumatised employees'.

There are two other important trends spotted in the report. One is that ransomware no longer targets just individuals and small firms – it’s also targeting bigger businesses now. Almost 60 per cent of businesses targeted by ransomware have more than 100 employees, and 25 per cent have more than 1,000.

The second important trend is that ransomware is a growing industry. Walter Chamblee, Director of Information Technology at Signaturefd.com, said, “Ransomware attacks are on the rise and are growing in complexity. Without the right protection measures in place, ransomware can be majorly disruptive to a business. In these cases, it’s the user downtime and the hassle for IT that’s far costlier, even if you pay the ransom.”

The full report can be found on this link.