Ransomware: The Bread and Butter of Cybercriminals

Hollywood would have us believe that hackers are all hoodie-wearing basement dwellers who spend their every waking hour trying to break into computer systems for fun or to change their Algebra II grades. Not much could be further from the truth.

Today’s cybercriminals and hackers have taken to spreading ransomware and they’re targeting small businesses (SMBs) more and more. According to research published by American cybersecurity and data backup company Datto, 1 in 5 small businesses in the US report that they’ve fallen victim to a ransomware attack. Each attack costs an average of $5900 per incident – just as a payout for the ransom. The added cost of downtime and eventually cleaning up the mess is generally about 23 times that amount. Companies that aren’t supported by a Managed Service Provider (MSP) often face even greater costs.

Noted author Steven Jurczak notes that criminals know the value of business data and the cost of downtime. Because they service multiple SMB customers simultaneously, managed service providers (MSPs) are now an especially attractive target. A successful attack on an MSP magnifies the impact of attacks and the value of the ransom.

Cybercriminals are moving away from mass distribution in favor of highly focused, targeted attacks. These attacks are typically carried out by using tools to automatically scan the internet for weak IT systems. Common targets include businesses with lots of computers but not a lot of IT staff or budget.

Your biggest vulnerability is your people. Employees need to be trained on how to spot suspicious emails and what to do in case they suspect an email is malicious. Regular user training can greatly reduce the effects of phishing and safeguard your systems.

Here at True North Cyber Solutions, we’ve been focusing our efforts to help both MSPs and SMB owners prevent these types of attacks. We offer a number of programs that include user training, simulated phishing campaigns, and complete security audits. There’s no need to invent a whole new service when you’ve a trusted partner at your side.

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