An increasing number of ransomware and cyber attacks target small businesses and startups, with ransoms ranging from from a hundred of dollars to 6-figure thousands of dollars – although there have been reports of ransoms going as high as millions for larger organisations.
For small business, the average ransom demanded in 2016 was $679 which is more than double that of 2015’s figure of $295 for 2015. Small businesses/startups are usually the cyber criminals favourite targets because they usually have little to no IT security in place to defend themselves from cyber attacks. Furthermore some small businesses think that they have little to lose and nothing to hack which is why the guards are usually down.
However, reality sets in when small businesses have been compromised and they look for IT solutions to manage their IT security, and this comes in form of a managed IT services company who usually watches over your networks and systems 24/7, 365 days a year. Outsourcing your IT does have more advantages than disadvantages – the main advantage is bang for buck – there is always certainly a customised package to suit any budget so it is often a no brainer to outsource your small business’ IT to a dedicated managed IT services company.
So let’s say you’ve been breached, if hackers don’t go ahead and delete your data they will almost certainly leak or publish it online for the whole digital world to have access to. Or in certain cases, they may offer whatever data they have to the highest bidder. For some cyber criminals it’s not only about the financial gain, instead of demanding a ransom from you they may offer you an option to help spread the ransomware to friends/contacts and in reward get their files back free of charge or for a hugely discounted fee.
The thing about ransomware is that the hacker doesn’t need to have an advanced set of skills in hacking to operate. Guides are readily available on the Internet as well as ransomware-as-a-service for individuals who may even be on a commission basis for every successful attack they carry out. Although primary targets are Windows based systems/devices, MacOS and Linux are themselves not completely hack-proof. Attacks on mobile devices are on the rise, with a higher amount on android devices.
Managed IT services companies around the world are always on the heels of the latest attacks. Admittedly managed IT service companies may not be able to defend every form of threat that attack small business’ computers, networks and devices but rest assured that managed IT services firms always have up to the minute backups and system restoration plans set just in case the worse happens.
Managed IT services companies often diagnose their clients with the same question once a breach has been identified: “What were you doing prior to the breach being identified?”. Not only will this give the managed IT service company the general jist of how the device was breached but also the user behaviour of the employees at the small business. Employees can train and retrain their employees in IT security and managed IT services companies can learn from and counter-act future atacks. But computers are usually infected by the same methods and this hasn’t changed much since the inception of malware/ransomware. We see methods which include opening and clicking/downloading dodgy links/files from emails, visiting infected websites, or simply downloading infected software. Since servers can be hosts, once a computer has been infected in the network it may only be a matter of time before further damage is caused.
To discuss your IT needs with the experts get in touch with us at 1300 768 779 or firstname.lastname@example.org. IT security is something that every business of every size should have a decent budget for, fortunately managed IT services can be customised to fit every budget. So get in touch today and get your FREE IT audit of your current infrastructure and we guarantee to recommend you a better solution within your budget.