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Ransomware costs European SMBs £71 million in downtime

(Image credit: Image Credit: WK1003Mike / Shutterstock )

Ransomware costs European businesses £71 million in downtime, a new report by Datto argues. Based on a poll of 150 managed service providers, serving more than a million of SMBs and medium-sized businesses in Europe, the report also says some businesses still see paying ransomware as the cheaper way out.

A fifth (21 per cent) of SMBs decide to pay, and out of those that do pay – 18 per cent still don’t get access to their data back.

The report says that the average ransom request moves between £350 and £1407. Usually, the ransomware virus doesn’t get removed from the computer once the ransom is paid, and sometimes reactivates to strike the same target for the second time.

Even though the number of these attacks is increasing, very few are still reported to authorities (less than a third). Datto believes this happens because businesses don’t want to admit they’d fallen victim to such an attack.  

The leading causes of ransomware attacks are phishing emails and a lack of cybersecurity training.

“The impact of ransomware can be threefold,” comments Mark Banfield, SVP at Datto.

“The combined cost of the ransom, downtime and any reputation damage suffered can have a potentially business-threatening effect on a SMB, so there needs be a greater understanding around it. This can be helped by encouraging victims to report attacks. Providing authorities with real-life data that can be used to improve general awareness, prevention, detection and prosecution of perpetrators.”

“It’s also alarming that a lack of cybersecurity training is cited as a reason for ransomware’s growing effectiveness. Many SMBs take their chances by not even providing basic training, but this simply increases the chances of phishing emails and other social engineering attacks being successful. Businesses must teach employees to identify the red flags.

“Defending against ransomware requires a multi-layered cybersecurity strategy. No single defence is enough – as proven by the number of attacks despite antivirus being in place. Cybersecurity training needs to be combined with malware blockers and detectors, with a reliable BDR providing the last line of defence. When SMBs take regular snapshots of networks, they are able to simply spin up systems from a healthy point should a ransomware attack take hold. Critically, this mitigates having to pay the ransom and the downtime suffered from not having access to critical data.”

Image Credit:  WK1003Mike / Shutterstock 

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.