46% of small and medium businesses targeted by ransomware and 73% paid

Over a quarter of SMBs have no plan for combating a ransomware attack

The small and medium business (SMB) community is no stranger to ransomware attacks. A recent report revealed that hackers have targeted 46% of SMBs, with 73% of those companies paying the ransom.

The report is based on a survey of more than 500 C-level executives. Of those surveyed, 87% were CEOs and the rest were CIOs and CTOs.

“Ransomware is not a new phenomenon,” said Russell P. Reeder, CEO of Infrascale. “However, it is surprising how many businesses are unprepared for a ransomware attack. It is shocking that during a time in which the world should be coming together in the fight against COVID-19, criminals are preying on unsuspecting people and organizations for personal – usually financial – gain. And, in many cases, these bad actors are actually benefiting.”

“With appropriate strategies using preventative measures like internet security and education, and protection measures like data backup and disaster recovery, you should never have to worry about paying ransomware,” he continued.

While 83% of SMBs said they felt prepared for a ransomware attack, 17% of the SMBs participating in the survey shared they didn't feel their organization was prepared for a ransomware attack. The SMBs that felt unprepared to go head to head with ransomware attackers indicated time and resources were their biggest hurdles in this battle.

And when it comes to the ransom, the survey shows 78% of SMBs in the B2B category have paid a ransom demand, while 63% of B2C SMBs have paid. Of those surveyed, 26% said they’ve never paid a ransom but 60% would do so if it meant getting their files back quickly. Further, 53% said they would pay ransom to protect company data.

Unfortunately, paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee complete data recovery, as 17% of survey participants indicated they recovered only some of their organization’s data after paying a ransom.

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The good news? Nearly 72% of respondents have a plan in place to mitigate ransomware attacks. As for the other 28%? These SMBs shared they have no plans geared toward mitigating a ransomware attack, consequently putting their organizations at significant risk. Fortunately, there are ways organizations can protect themselves from ransomware attacks. 

“The best protection, of course, is prevention. And education is the key to its success,” said Reeder. “If something looks nefarious, it usually is. However, criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated at making their attacks look legitimate. And again, at a time where people are in search of information and answers, the public’s fake-filters are at an all-time low.”

“Next, of course, are protection strategies,” Reeder added. “Picking up on a potential attack in advance is ideal to prevent it from happening. However, if an organization is compromised, near-immediate remediation is top priority – and it shouldn’t be in the form of paying a ransom.”

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