Ransomware incidents are on the rise, and they don’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. When a cybercriminal holds your business data hostage for a large fee, the price tag of ransom is enough to force some businesses to close their doors.
The latest Webroot threat report found the average ransomware payment to be more than $230,000. What is often overlooked are the additional ways victims pay for the attacks. The following are 4 ways ransomware can cost your business, in addition to the extortion amount:
1. Lost Productivity
Lost productivity from ransomware incidents is related to the length of time to discover the attack. Generally, faster detection means limiting the spread of the infection and less time the IT department spends on remedying the situation. Ransomware attacks can shut down operations for hours, days, or even weeks.
2. Continuity Costs
How long would it take you to return to normal operations?
With tested and thorough backups, your business can get back up and running faster, and ideally, without paying any ransom. Webroot reported 70% of companies that didn’t pay a ransom were able to recover their data within a business day, compared to 46% that did.
With readily available backups, your time is best spent working to restore your good data, rather than losing time negotiating back and forth with cybercriminals or coming up with payment.
One of the most important factors in determining downtime costs is specifying the value of your data. When creating a backup and recovery strategy, consider: What is absolutely critical to conducting business operations? Some items are nice to have but not essential, like marketing or prospecting data, but it is up to you to decide what is worth the time, money, or effort.
3. Client/Vendor Relations
Ransomware incidents can negatively impact business relationships that take a long time to build and result in the loss of anticipated revenue. The implications of supply chain attacks allow cybercriminals to compromise a trusted supplier to distribute ransomware, spreading the virus onto clients and/or distributing their information on the dark web.
4. Reputational Damage
Consider the headlines if your company were to fall victim to a ransomware attack. Unfortunately, the saying “No Press is Bad Press” doesn’t always apply in these situations.
Beyond lost customers, ransomware attacks — especially one that affects customers — could force your business to hire expensive PR firms to attempt to repair the damage. On the other hand, silence or a disorganized response to a ransomware attack can come off as apathetic or inadequate.C
By no means is this an exhaustive list of the hidden costs of ransomware. If you are worried about the costs of ransomware, it is best to be proactive before you need to be reactive.
Work with a local IT services provider to help set your business up for success, in terms of security and training for your employees. Cyber liability insurance can also protect your business against the expenses associated with a data breach.
These days, it is not a matter of if it will happen to your business, but a matter of when.
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