On June 4, 2021 the FBI released a statement that there has been “a rapid increase in ransomware attacks against private sector companies.” Though they have said that they are investigating, and they’ve “made these investigations a top priority,” that doesn’t exactly inspire peace of mind considering they also frequently state that there isn’t much recourse when cybercrimes occur. In fact, they went so far as to post on their cyber crime page, “Because of the global reach of cybercrime, no single organization, agency, or country can defend against it.”
Just a few of the ransomware attacks that have occurred recently include:
- The JBS ransomware attack – they paid $11 million ransom
- The Department of Justice Seized $2.3 Million in Cryptocurrency Paid to the Ransomware Extortionists Darkside
- Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the United States, suffered a ransomware attack that “crippled fuel delivery for several days in the southeast region”
To make matters even worse, NPR reported the U.S. is now suffering more than seven ransomware attacks each hour making it a national security risk. With stories like this coming out in the news what feels like almost weekly, if not daily, many businesses are looking to cybersecurity companies to offer defense solutions against ransomware and other threats.
Impacts of Ransomware Attacks on Small Business
Harvard Business Review (HBR) reported, “In 2020, the amount of ransom demanded grew to the mid to high seven-figure ranges. At the end of 2020 and into 2021, we have seen some ransom demands reaching into the tens of millions of dollars.” The reality is that numbers like this can disrupt if not bankrupt the average small business. The higher the demands, the more likely a company will be unable to recoup their losses. What’s worse is that in many cases, paying does not ensure a company will recoup stolen data. In some instances, companies lose access to their websites as well.
If that wasn’t bad enough, as Insureon explains, not only is the company on the hook for an untold amount of ransom, but they are often offline in the interim. As a result of their downtime, they suffer lost revenue, and “may also lose customers and potential new business.” After all, customers are weary of buying from a business who can’t keep their data safe.
As HBR so aptly put it, “The company is [often] left between a rock and a hard place — either pay millions of dollars in ransom to criminals or have sensitive and valuable confidential information publicly exposed.”
That leaves many companies flailing and trying to figure out their best course of action. For those that do survive, they will be looking for protection, and those that have not yet been impacted are waiting for the shoe to drop fearing the inevitability that they will ultimately be attacked.
What Partners Can Do to Help Protect SMBs
The good news is companies don’t have to just sit and wait to be attacked. They can take actions to defend themselves in an effort to prevent a ransomware attack from even occurring in the first place. The first and best line of defense is to provide software such as Patchman which simplifies cybersecurity for web hosting providers.
With Patchman, CMS vulnerabilities such as ransomware, a form of malware, are proactively patched before they have a chance to become a problem. The software runs 24/7 looking for and patching up leaks in websites to protect both website owners and hosting providers from potential breaches. It’s more important now than ever that defenses are put in place to protect websites and data from these relentless cybercriminals. Learn more about how Patchman can help you protect SMBs.