Small Business and Ransomware

Up to 55% of small businesses will pay ransomware demands

According to a study done by Small Business Trends in 2019, about 55% of small businesses (SMBs) say they’ll pay ransomware demands if hit. Of those surveyed, 39% even say they’ll pay any cost.

Beazley Breach Response Services published a study in March of 2019. It shows that 70% of all ransomware attacks target small businesses. Subsequently, that high of a percentage of attacks coupled with SMBs willingness to pay puts them in a particularly vulnerable position.

A ransomware attack is devastating if you have no plan to deal with it. Businesses are left without access to their files, and, in many cases, suffer a severe reduction if not complete closure of their business because of it. As a result, getting hit unprepared has serious repercussions.

A solid first step

Ransomware doesn’t have to destroy a small business. Some preparedness planning can keep SMBs safe if and when a ransomware strike occurs.

Switching antivirus providers to application whitelisting is a solid first step. Application whitelisting is globally recognized as the most effective way to protect against the onslaught of new and evolving malicious scripting.

If you don’t remember or are new to Tech Talk, application whitelisting is a proactive approach to antivirus. Whitelisting uses a default-deny approach. That means anything trying to run on your machine is automatically stopped unless it’s known to be good.

Additional protections

A great antivirus is the first step. But what else should you do to protect your small business?

Close those RDP ports! Open RDP ports are a favorite entryway for cyber criminals. PC Matic’s RDP Lifeline feature in PC Matic Pro helps manage RDP health.*

Backups! You need to make sure you’re backing up your data. Cloud backups and removable drives are both great for this. In fact, I use both. A business breached by ransomware can recover data from reliable and frequent backups without having to pay the ransom. Just make sure you’re unplugging your removable drives. Ransomware infects drives connected to the infected machine.

Salvation for small business

While the threat of ransomware is a serious problem, SMBs can take the proper precautions to protect themselves. Using application whitelisting, practicing RDP health, and frequent backups will all work together. A coordinated plan will keep SMB systems safe even if an attack does happen.

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3 thoughts on “Small Business and Ransomware

  1. Companies the size that mine was don’t pay Ransomware fees. There is another way. Turn off that instance and use another, but do it now. That involves security continuous mentoring with continuous monitoring.

  2. These businesses who intend to pay the ransom, make it very difficult, if not impossible to stamp out this blackmail scourge. It is so simple to protect themselves, that it almost constitutes a self inflicted wound. I wonder if they realise, that signalling in advance, that they would pay the ransom, marks them as a lucrative milk cow, and like all blackmailers, will com back again and again for the payoff.

    If any business promises, in advance, to pay a ransom no matter how large, then they are either making obscene profits, or not paying enough tax. Maybe the government should consider charging any business that pays the ransom, a percentage fee of the ransom paid. Call it a cyber security levy. If they don’t like that, then they know what to do to protect themselves for these leeches.

    • I was successful removing ransom ware on my computer by going into DOS and finding the file downloaded by its date and deleting it.

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