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December 23, 2016

Hackers Are Raking In Profits From Ransomware Payments

Experiencing a ransomware attack is a bit like getting mugged on the street. When the pressure is on, most people will choose to just hand over their wallet to end the situation safely and quickly. It’s sometimes easier, when faced with the idea of losing your data forever, to comply with hackers and make a swift payment to regain access.

Consider this: In a recent study from IBM, 46 percent of business respondents claimed that their organization had experienced a ransomware attack. And of the 46 percent that were impacted by ransomware, an overwhelming 70 percent admitted to paying the ransom.

Just how much are businesses paying in ransomware attacks? This will shock you:

  • 20 percent have paid more than $40,000
  • 25 percent have paid between $20,000 and $40,000
  • 11 percent have paid between $10,000 and $20,000

This begs the question: Is it right to make a ransomware payment?

The answer is a bit more complicated than that, as it depends largely on the types of assets in question. If a stolen asset is highly valuable, it may make sense to try and get it back.

Understand, though, that making a ransomware payment will not guarantee that the asset will be returned. Cybercriminals, fueled by your willingness to fork over money, may just increase the asking price — or keep the money and destroy the files anyway. It’s a total crapshoot. And for this reason, it’s best to consult with law enforcement before making any rash decisions.

There is one thing you can do to soften the blow of a ransomware attack:

Back up your data, and store it offsite in a hosted, protected environment. This way, if a hacker unleashes ransomware on your network, you can simply focus on removing the software. If the data gets destroyed, you’ll still be able to access a clean copy.

Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can choose to hide from ransomware. As explained in a recent Venturebeat article, ransomware attacks have been occurring at unprecedented levels. And there is strong reason to suspect that they will continue multiplying in 2017.

Eventually, ransomware will find your organization. And when it does, you need to be prepared.

Apex Technology Services is a leading managed services provider (MSP) that can work with your business to ensure that you have the built-in protection to combat ransomware. While you can’t always prevent ransomware from being launched at your organization, there are steps you can take to increase your defenses and make it harder for hackers.

So make ransomware protection a top priority for 2017. Contact Apex Technology Services to learn more information about what you can do to plan ahead. To get started, click here.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.


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