I remember the first time I got the call. The person had an message on the screen that was demanding payment to regain access to the files and data their business relied on to operate. Oh, and they had to pay with something called Bitcoin AND the payment needed to be made within 72 hours or they’d lose access to the files forever.
It was only 4 short years ago, and luckily for the caller, back then it was fairly easy to recover the data and get the company back operational. Today, not so much.
The bad guys have spent a considerable amount of time and energy perfecting this kind of “business” model, to the point it is now a Billion-dollar industry. Yes, billion with a “B”. What other “industry” do you know of that went from 0 in revenue to a Billion in just 4 years?
Today’s reality is, if you haven’t taken steps to thwart such an incident so your business could survive such an attack, you will be faced with a VERY difficult decision.
Re-create all the data from scratch. Imagine what that would cost and how manually intensive such an undertaking would be, and that is IF you had enough information to recreate it (Paper files anyone?)!!
Pay the demanded ransom and HOPE the bad guys that infected your files will the “good” kind of bad guy and actually give your files back – stats show 25% of the time, they don’t.
The dollar amounts demanded are also rising as the cyber thugs continue to perfect their craft making it virtually impossible for an unprotected company to recover without paying the money. In Canada we’ve see demands of $25 - 50 thousand dollars. How many businesses have that kind of money sitting around in anticipation of paying such a ransom? Not many.
The highest reported Canadian ransom paid? Just over $440,000. Only the biggest of the big companies could survive such a demand!!
UPS Capitol, one of the larger insurance companies reports that 60% of companies go out of business within 6 months of an attack.
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