Small and medium businesses under heavy ransomware attacks

The attacks increased eightfold in the past year.

Small and medium-sized businesses are under increased attach from ransomware, a new report by Kaspersky Lab's Kaspersky Security Network (KSN) says. According to the firm's latest report, the number of ransomware attacks against SMBs has increased eight times in the past year.  

The company's security solution detected and blocked 27,471 attempts at encrypting SMB company data between Q3 2015 and Q3 2016. The year before, there have been 3,224 similar attacks in total. Head of Kaspersky Lab SMB marketing, Vladimir Zapolyansky, says every business needs to be able to protect itself nowadays. 

“When it comes to ransomware, paying the ransom doesn’t guarantee that data will be returned safely. To ensure protection from ransomware and other types of attacks, businesses need to implement reliable up-to-date information security solutions as a preventive measure – it is always easier to prevent threats, than respond to them when the damage has already been done.” 

Ransomware is a type of malware which encrypts all the data on a computer or a computer network (including connected external and cloud drives), and demands ransom to be paid in bitcoin to unlock the data. It has become one of the most popular tools for hackers looking to earn money without selling stolen data to third parties.  At first it targeted individuals, and later switched to large companies. Healthcare and financial institutions are the biggest targets.  

Ransomware usually spreads through phishing emails. A target employee will receive an email that will look as if it was sent by a colleague, and it will contain the malicious payload. Cybersecurity experts are warning that besides having a security solution set up, it is also extremely important to educate employees on the dangers of reckless online behaviour.  

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