Should My Small Business Worry About Ransomware?

A lot of the things you hear online about ransomware can really shape your view of the problem for the worst. Most of the time, when we hear about ransomware attacks we see big-name brands like Whirlpool, Pfizer, Foxconn, Honda, LG, and Mitsubishi. But we never hear about that small law firm in New Jersey being attacked by cybercriminals.

All because we don’t hear about it or see it on the news, we have this thinking that maybe small and medium-sized businesses are not real targets for ransomware.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

In research conducted by Infrascale, they found out that over 46% of SMBs were the victims of ransomware attacks. Of that number, around 70% decided to pay just to get their data back. They also found these harrowing data from their research.

  • 25% of SMBs have no plans in place to mitigate ransomware attacks
  • 20% feel that they are unprepared for an attack.
  • More than half of B2Bs companies in the survey said they have been hit by ransomware while only 36% of B2C companies experienced an attack.
  • Around 30% of the SMBs claim that they don’t have enough time to look for ransomware solutions.

The research is based on a survey made by Infrascale of more than 500 C-level executives with 87% of the respondents being CEOs of companies.

So should your small business be worried about ransomware? Why are small businesses becoming targets? Let’s try to talk about all of that in a while.

What is Ransomware?

In a nutshell, ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the files of its victims. The perpetrator then demands a ransom from the victim so they can gain access to their files/data as soon as they pay up. Users are usually given instructions on how they can pay the fee to get the “decryption key”. Costs range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to millions usually paid in Bitcoin.

In the world of modern business, data is key. It’s the driving force behind every industry we have right now. When people get hold of your data and decide to keep it away from you, your whole business will be put to a stop. Unless you get your data back (or use a backup if you are smart), your business will be put at a standstill. While this is a big threat for multi-million dollar businesses, it can be as fatal to small and medium-sized businesses with some of them forced to close down shop.

Why Are Small Businesses Good Targets for Ransomware?

If big businesses pay up big ransoms, why are cybercriminals targeting small businesses? Here’s what the experts have to say.

  1. SMBs are more likely to pay. The majority of SMBs don’t have the power to resolve or counter a ransomware attack. Once the attack is finished, they have limited choices. They either pay up, start from scratch, or close up shop. More often than not, these businesses decide to pay the couple hundred dollars or a few thousand dollar ransoms. When cybercriminals target bigger companies, the payout is bigger but there is also a good chance that they can just ignore the ransom note and fix the problem.
  2. SMBs have no infrastructure or system in place to prevent a ransomware attack. Due to the “we are small so they won’t attack us” mentality, a lot of SMBs disregard the need for ransomware prevention. Couple this with the fact that most SMBs allocate only a small part of their budget for IT and you have yourself a great candidate for a ransomware attack.
  3. SMBs lack employee education. Aside from not having the right level of security to avert a ransomware attack, SMBs are also very easy to target because the employees themselves are not aware of ransomware. Most of the attacks on SMBs come from Phishing emails or malicious attachments downloaded by employees to their computers. From there, the malware infects the whole system and takes it down.

Should My Small Business Worry About Ransomware?

Definitely. It’s a real threat and it can affect businesses big and small. Experts also see that due to the high number of SMBs paying up, more attacks will happen in the future. This is because they get more returns when attacking SMBs instead of just waiting to hit the big time with large companies.

So the question is, where do you start? Here’s what you can do to help lessen your chances of getting victimized by a ransomware attack.

  1. Set up a secure network. Your network should be monitored 24/7 for any malicious activity. This way, when malware infiltrates your network, you can contain it right away.
  2. Screen incoming messages and attachments. A lot of ransomware attacks originate from emails containing malicious links or attachments. You should screen all incoming emails (especially to all devices within your network) to lessen any chances of malware entering your network due to human error.
  3. Create a regular backup of your data. If you do become a victim of any malware attack, having a backup of your data reduces the damage it can do to your business. Make sure to keep the backup off-site so it won’t be affected by the malware.
  4. Educate your employees about ransomware and other forms of attacks. Your employees should know when a link or attachment is malicious or not. They should know the best practices to limit your risks of being under attack.

We understand that this is quite a tall order for an SMB. As mentioned above, a lot of SMBs don’t even have a large budget allocation for their IT. But that does not mean you have to suffer. For starters, you can look for cloud

If you want a customized IT solution for ransomware prevention in New Jersey then you can trust Techsperts Business Technology Solutions to help you out. Techsperts offers free initial consultation where we can talk about how we can help reduce your risks of getting hit by a ransomware attack. We have a team of seasoned IT experts who can create a custom security plan for your business. Contact us today!