Ransomware is the ‘number one’ threat for small and medium businesses, argues Datto

Ransomware continues to be the primary attack vector small businesses face, according to a new report from business continuity and networking provider Datto.

The findings appear in the company’s latest Global State of the Channel Ransomware Report, which polled 2,400 managed service providers. According to the report, more than 55% of those polled said their clients had experienced a ransomware attack in the first six months of 2018, with more than a third (35%) saying attacks happened multiple times in the same day.

For small businesses, a ransomware attack doesn’t just hold them to ransom, but could finish them off altogether. The average attack, the report notes, is 10 times costlier to the business than the ransom itself; attacks cost businesses $46,800 on average, with ransoms being ‘only’ $4,300 per attack.

This is not to say that organisations aren’t taking measures to prevent these attacks; it’s that prevention is rather ineffective. 85% of MSPs polled admitted their ransomware victims had anti-virus software installed, while two thirds (65%) said they had email and spam filters in place which failed to stop the breach.

MasterIT, a managed service provider based in the US, said small business CEOs need to see ransomware as the number one threat to them. “They think they don’t have anything the hackers want, so it’s not worth the price to protect themselves,” said Michael Drake, CEO of MasterIT. “When something happens, they’re shocked by the cost to get everything back up and running. It’s mind-blowing.”

Writing for this publication earlier this month, Naaman Hart, managed services security engineer at Digital Guardian, noted how ‘ransomware as a service’ was beginning to make its mark across businesses of all sizes. “The rise of new, user friendly criminal tools like RaaS is changing the face of cybercrime forever,” wrote Hart. “With technical skill no longer a barrier to entry, it has suddenly become much more accessible to hundreds, thousands, or even millions of would-be criminals.”

You can find out more and download the full report here (email required).

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