What Small Businesses & Enterprise Companies Need to Know About Ransomware

Ransomware is a threat to all businesses, regardless of their size. But while big businesses may have more to lose in terms of finances, small businesses are unevenly targeted. In fact, more than 80 percent of ransomware attacks target small businesses.

The cost of a ransomware cyber attack can be devastating for small businesses and even mid-sized enterprise companies. Finding the right strategies for protecting your business, as well as understanding the risks and current tactics used by cybercriminals, is key to protecting your small business. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the most common types of ransomware, their cost to small businesses, and what you need to know to protect yourself.

What Small Businesses & Enterprise Companies Need to Know About Ransomware

Types of Ransomeware Affecting Businesses

There are a variety of types of ransomware that small businesses could fall victim to, but four types of ransomware make up the majority of breaches and attacks:

  1. Locker ransomware. With this type of attack, cybercriminals gain access to an employee’s device. A pop-up window appears, and suddenly the user is locked out of their device. The pop-up window lets the user know that they’ll have to pay a fine to get their device back.
  2. Crypto-ransomware. This is the most common type of ransomware and is often spread through employees opening up suspicious e-mails or social media messages, or visiting questionable websites.
  3. Double-extorsion ransomware. This is similar to locker ransomware, but with this method, the cybercriminals steal sensitive business data or information and threaten to publish it on the web if the fee isn’t paid.
  4. Ransomware as a Service (RaaS). This type of attack can come in many forms; what makes it RaaS is that it originates from a single subscriber-style criminal site that other criminals can purchase to use to collect ransomware payments from victims.

The Impact of Ransomeware Attacks on Businesses

The cost of a ransomware attack on a small business varies. It depends on the amount of ransom demanded — and paid — as well as other factors, such as the amount of downtime the business experiences as a result of the attack or legal fees they face.

Companies like Fortinet can help to block cyber-attacks before you’re forced to pay ransomware settlements. Protecting your endpoints and stopping an attack before it can start is the best way to save your business’ reputation, save lost time and revenue, and avoid a costly settlement. It’s also key to deterring future attacks.

The average ransomware payment in the U.S. in 2021 was more than $6,300,000. This fee may be even higher for small businesses. They may also face lost revenue due to closures related to the attack, as well as additional fees spent trying to repair any damage to their reputation. The cost can easily stretch into the tens of thousands — a staggering amount for many small businesses. As a result, around 60 percent of small businesses go out of business within six months of a cyber attack.

Increasing Your Company’s Digital Security

Protecting your small business from ransomware attacks means implementing a variety of strategies for protecting your employees and educating them on what a ransomware attack looks like.

While having the funds reserved to pay a settlement — often through ransomware insurance — has become common practice, too often, this can only serve to motivate criminals looking for an easy target. Improve your company’s digital security strategy today to avoid the risks of ransomware.

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